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Bladnoch 9 Year Old 1985 Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength


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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

28th Dec 2019


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Now this is a golden oldie. It matured for only 9 years and did it last century. By now it has spent more than 20 years in the bottle, but that will not stop us from trying this Bladnoch 1985 – distilled when I did not even ride my first moped. This also means it was distilled while the owner was (the predecessor of) Diageo. And while 1985 may not seem all that distant, to me this is already liquid history. The distillery has changed hands twice since then. Here we go!

The nose is very sweet with the emphasis on caramel and apple sauce, but at the same time shows quite some wood. Grain cookies with quinine, candy floss and agrum. Far from bad, but less fresh than hoped for. Some pineapple cubes and soft spices, but I cannot get rid of the impression that I smell some new make as well. Weird, huh? Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, just not top.

Creamy on the palate, almost waxy, with sweet notes of white and yellow fruit, some spices in the guise of white pepper, candied ginger and liquorice with a truckload of quinine, making it bitter rather than sweet. But quite sturdy and actually very good, albeit less fruity than some of the previous malts that I tried from this Lowlander. I’m sure the young age is a factor.

The finish is very long, spicy and bittersweet.

Young Bladnoch that is okay, just not outstanding. Totally obscure by now.

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