...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Bladnoch 10 year old (bottled ~2018)

Bladnoch is one of those I'm-open-I'm-not-open distilleries that cause ownership to either:

A. Release NAS bottlings, or
B. Wait until the stock ages a little longer, or
C. Understate the whisky's age.

"A." is frequently the way. 

Bladnoch was closed from 1905-1911, 1937-1956, 1993-2000, and 2009-2017, which means the newest ownership will have to make some choices about their expressions over the next several years. They've already chosen "A." But will they also choose "B." or "C."?

Four years after its release, their limited edition 10 year old is still on liquor store shelves across this little blue world, so this review might almost be relevant!

Suzy Creamcheese is about to steal the sample bottle...

Distillery: Bladnoch
Region: Lowlands
Ownership at time of distillation: Colin and Raymond Armstrong
Age: at least 10 years old
Maturation: bourbon casks
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 46.7%
(thank you to Dr. Springbank for the sample!)


All the caramel, honey and mint in the nose read more like bourbon than single malt scotch, so those casks have expressed themselves.....into the whisky. Minerals, dried herbs, heather, and lavender flowers fill the middle and background. Cardamom pods take over after 30+ minutes. Though vanilla, caramel and wood spice do appear in the palate, they float in the distance rather than clogging the foreground. Instead, lime candy, yeast, and a variety of peppercorns read loudest. It finishes very sweet, with caramel and lime candy.

DILUTED to ~40%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Marshmallows, caramel corn and cardamom fill the nose. The palate's a curious cocktail of simple syrup, cardamom, cloves and woody bitterness. It finishes with vanilla, flowers and tannins.


Though Bladnoch 10 year old is cask-forward, it's also very pleasant, exceeding my low expectations. The blenders selected casks that countered the distillery's sometimes-quirky spirit, and created a contemporary easy-drinking whisky. (Keep it neat, though.) It's the sort of whisky that would have cost $25-$30 eight years ago, but goes for at least twice that price now.

Availability - USA, Europe, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere
Pricing - $55-$80
Rating - 83