Glenmorangie Bacalta

Distillery: Glenmorangie
Cask: 
Ex-Bourbon + heavily toasted Madeira wine casks
Bottled: 2017
ABV: 
46%
More Info:
WhiskyBase

Another release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition Series. I did enjoy the Milsean from earlier in the series so let’s see how this “sun-baked” member of the range lives up to expectation.

Nose: Sweet and lively. Apple sponge cake and fresh vanilla custard. Tart cider apples, Madeira wine (yes, that sticky, dark flavour is very distinct), and a whiff of tinned peaches.

Palate: More vanilla custard and soft fruit: pears, apples, peaches. Cinnamon and white pepper develop through the mid palate with a touch of dry white wine and pouring cream.

Finish: Quite short with drying vanilla oak.

This is a very pleasant dram, though not astonishing. I enjoy the fruitiness of the nose very much but the palate’s rather too cask-led for me with predictable vanilla and cake notes. I’d be pleased with this for £40 a bottle, but not £80.

Another marketing-driven whisky, alas.

Thanks very much to Andy at Malt Box for sharing this with me. If you’re interested in trying it, there are still bottles available on Master of Malt for £77.95.

Bladnoch Talia

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-10-05-40Distillery: Bladnoch
Age: 25 years
ABV: 49.2%
Cask: New Oak Finish
More Info: WhiskyBase

The big chief of the three new releases is this one: Talia. A 25 year old bottling released at a generous 49.2% with no colouring or chill filtering.

Nose: Poised and gorgeous. Flower petals and clean laundry. Ripe apples with icing sugar, lime juice, butter, and a whiff of banana milkshake.

Palate: Sweet and zesty. Cloudy cider, clementines, tinned peaches and cream with warming black pepper, vanilla pods, and smooth oak.

Finish: Soft and oaky with a touch of clove and cardamom.

This is an absolute beauty. Balanced, elegant and really moreish. A great example of the Bladnoch spirit: thick, buttery, sweet, gentle and fruity. Shame there’s only six hundred bottles…

What an absolute treat to try this alongside the Samsara and the Adela. I’m thrilled to see the rebirth of this wonderful distillery and looking forward to what comes next. It’ll be a few more years before they’re able to patch the gaps in their stock but I’m hopeful we’ll see a ten or twelve year old released as part of the core line up.

I’m also told that 2017 is Bladnoch’s 200th anniversary so we can expect an extra special bottling to appear to celebrate that…

Thanks very much to the distillery for the samples and best of luck with the re-launch!

The new bottlings can now be purchased in the UK via House of Malt.

Bladnoch Adela

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-21-19-45Distillery: Bladnoch
Age: 15 years
ABV: 46.7%
Cask: Oloroso Sherry
More Info: WhiskyBase

Scotland’s most Southerly distillery had a shaky few years when its parent company went into liquidation. Now rebooted, it has Ian MacMillan (formerly of Bunnahabhain and Tobermory) at the helm of distillation, bringing decades of whisky experience into the mix.

This second whisky in the new line-up, Adela, brings 15 years of Oloroso sherry maturation. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays with the character of the core spirit.

Nose: In a word, multilayered. Lots of heavy, meaty sherry tones – struck matches and boiled ham. Beneath it, sultanas, white peach and sandalwood and a base layer of buttery icing sugar like it’s younger sister, Samsara.

Palate: Redcurrants and black cherries – quite tart, but sweet and malty with vanilla cream, a hint of tobacco leaf, and dark chocolate.

Finish: Heavily roasted coffee beans and hazelnuts.

This isn’t a style of whisky that I tend to turn but there’s a lot going on here as it opens up and evolves. Intriguing and one I’d recommend to people who love their sherried drams on the more savoury side.

Onwards to the finalé, the 25 year old Talia

The new bottlings can now be purchased in the UK via House of Malt.

Bladnoch Samsara

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-20-14-03Distillery: Bladnoch
Age: Multi-vintage, with youngest 8 years old
ABV: 46.7%
Cask: Bourbon (I’m guessing)
More Info: WhiskyBase

One could quite easily argue that the Lowland whisky style is the least well understood in the whole of Scotland.

And it’d be hard to disagree! The region is almost the same size as the Highlands region (not including Speyside) yet it only has six distilleries! The isle of Islay has more than that all by itself.

As a result, Bladnoch is a name you really don’t see around often enough. The distillery’s had a few silent years and generally is one you can only taste on the indy bottle circuit. So what a welcome sight it is to see three brand new official bottlings, gloriously bottled at 46.7%* and without colour or chill-filtering – just the way we like it!

Purchased by David Prior, the distillery was officially re-launched last month in Australia. I’m very pleased these whiskies are now available back here in the UK! Let’s get tasting…

Nose: Buttery with icing sugar (it looks very fat and oily in the glass). Golden delicious apples, barley straw, grist, oat cakes, fresh leaves, toffee, vanilla and baked crumble.

Palate: Sweet and feisty. Baked apple, cinnamon, sweet malt biscuit, cloudy apple juice, cloves and a chalky pepperiness.

Finish: Mouth-coating and oily with soft oak, cloves, and liquorice.

It’s young, exuberant and very drinkable. A splash of water softens it up revealing more of the fruity side of its character. I’m a big fan of this – that buttery, grassy quality being something I’ve enjoyed in older Bladnochs (and Littlemills, come to think of it).

This entry-level of the new line-up is definitely worth seeking out. Time to move onto Adela, the next in the trilogy.

The new bottlings can now be purchased in the UK via House of Malt.

* Talia is bottled at natural cask strength of 49.2% ABV.