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Monday, September 23, 2019

Black & White blended whisky, bottled 1967-1969

The label style of the Black & White being reviewed today didn't last very long, not more than eight years. The key to further narrowing the timeframe are the quotation marks:

Here's a 1966 print ad that shows the previous label style. In this 1967 ad, the label style has changed to the one on today's mini and has the quotation marks. In this 1972 ad, the quotes are gone. The mark removal happened around 1970, per the master administrator at Drinks Planet.

Thought it seems like a tiny change, those quotation marks had been used for almost 70 years, ever since James Buchanan began quoting the name that pub patrons called his whisky at the turn of the century. It was Buchanan's Blended Scotch Whisky, but drinkers referred to it by the bottle and label colors, black and white. Ditching the quotes fully established the brand as Black & White, and cleared the way for another Buchanan's blend.

Time to drink up.

Brand: Black & White
Owner at time of bottling: Distillers Company Limited
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: minimum 3 years
Bottled: sometime between 1967-1969
Alcohol by Volume: 43.4%
(from my purchased 1/10 pint bottle)

Full of spirit and oak, the nose leads with guava, moss, vanilla bean, caramel and hay. Then baked pear with fruity cinnamon. Light blue scented Mr. Sketch markers and Mentos candies. The mild palate is lightly spicy and tannic. Bits of vanilla, paper and savoriness. It does have a good mouthfeel and it gets tangier with time. The finish has pepper, paper and tart lemons. It gets sweeter and tangier with time, as well.

As with the mid-70s mini I'd opened last week, the nose is better than the palate, though there's a smaller gap in quality. There's more American oak character present than I'd expected, giving it a modern tilt that the whisky probably doesn't need. And I'm not sure if the papery notes are due to flabby casks or five decades of unknown bottle storage. The nose's guava note and creaminess of the palate's texture salvage this from Meh Land. But it's certainly a step down from the stuff in the '70s quart bottle I'm enjoying.

Rating - 79