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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Bladnoch 11 year old 2001 Lightly Peated, sheep label

The Armstrongs and Bladnoch seemed like a match made in whisky heaven, a whisky geek family buying an unsung distillery. Raymond and Colin Armstrong offered up an online forum that also sold single casks of other distilleries at reasonable prices. They even tried to produce an old-fashioned style spirit. But it wasn't meant to be. It was a struggle to get Diageo (the former owners) to sign off on any production, and the distillation itself had uneven outturns, only hitting max production once, in 2007. So though the Northern Irishmen owned Bladnoch for 20 years, the stills ran for less than nine.

Today's sample is of that era's lightly peated variant, and its bottle's sheep label signaled the whisky had lived in a sherry cask.

No sheep on hand
so a purple Alicorn will have to do

Distillery: Bladnoch
Region: Lowlands
Owners at the time: Colin and Raymond Armstrong
Age: at least 11 years old (2001)
Malt type: lightly peated
Maturation: sherry butt
Alcohol by Volume: 55%
(thank you to My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)


The nose begins with a nice lean mix of nuts, apples, lemon juice and concrete. A little bit of yeast here, nectarine there, wood spice in between. The palate has a toasty, nutty top layer, limes and sweet oranges in the middle, brown sugar and barley at the bottom. A mix of citrus types (tart, sweet and bitter) fill the long finish, with some raw nuts in the background.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or > 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Now the nose reads yeasty and grainy, with a pack of Weetabix up front. Gingerbread and golden raisins fill linger behind. Grains, raw nuts and sweet oranges make up both the palate and finish.


Though I found nothing resembling peat in this pour, it was still a nice crisp whisky, a solid drink for any season. It also wasn't sherry-soaked, or at least the fortified wine trended towards a nutty style (like many actual sherries do). Too bad the distillery didn't become the little Indie that could, but at least the Armstrongs made and bottled some good whiskies.

Availability - 
Secondary market?

Pricing - ???
Rating - 86