Bought – Robbie’s Drams, 29th May, 2014
Having recently bought the new 2013 revamped version of the Black Bottle, I was determined to track down the old style. This lead me to Robbie’s Drams in Ayr, and their online shop. At £14.99 it was a very good price for a whisky that’s no longer made, so I bought it. Tesco had been selling them off last year for £12 but sadly they’d all gone by the time I got there.
In 2006 this old version of Black Bottle won one of Jim Murray’s ‘Whisky Bible Awards’ with the score of 94/100. He said of the taste “the outcome on the palate is explosive: rampaging peaty malts put firmly in their place by crisp grain with a unique mouthfeel style” and “a blend that has to be tasted to be believed….a must for the sideboard.”
In Ralfy’s YouTube review from 2009, he says the blend is made up from all the Islay malts, excluding Kilchoman, which was too young to be used in 2009. Quite a change from the more Speyside-based Black Bottle we have today. Although I like the new version, a criticism when compared with the old is how ‘thin’ it has become. Hardly surprising when you think how thick Islay malts can be. But one man’s thin is another man’s sophisticated. I will have to compare and contrast.