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Friday, December 9, 2022

Bladnoch 29 year old 1990 SMWS 50.111

It's never a good idea for me to do five reviews in a week, as it clashes with all my adulting, but here I am doing it anyway. Again. But the good news is, the whisky works. These Bladnochs have proven to be more consistent, interesting and tasty than the previous two weeks' Bruichladdichs. They certainly show less cask aggression, which always a big plus at Diving for Pearls.

Today's Bladnoch is the sibling cask to yesterday's 28yo. Same bottler, same cask type, same distillation date. But, yes, a different whisky.

Distillery: Bladnoch
Owners at time of Distillation: Arthur Bell & Sons
Region: Lowlands
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 29 years (26 Jan 1990 - 2019)
Maturation: second-fill bourbon barrel
Cask #: 50.111, "A serious flavour bomb"
Outturn: 111 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 52.6%
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts off with a youthful combo of anise, Bartlett pears and apricots. A sugary candy shop note sticks around in the background seemingly forever. Apple skins, almond extract and vanilla bean appear later. Sweet tangerines and nectarines mix with toasted almonds in the palate. Tart cherries meet a chipotle smokiness and a hint of herbal bitterness. A tart citrus glow frames the finish, with tiny notes of pound cake, flowers and herbal bitterness offering depth.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose reads simpler, or perhaps more focused: it's all chalk, grapefruit juice, candy shop and blossoms. Meanwhile the palate gets very cuddly, loaded with sweet fruits (of the citrus and stone sort) and almond cookies, leading into a tart and sweet finish.


The whiskies took different paths over nearly three decades in their barrels, but they share notes, like florals, cookies and tart fruits. I think I liked the 28yo just a smidgen more due to its complexity, though that opinion could switch around depending on the mood and environment. This one may be more of a crowdpleaser, reading at times like a decade-younger fruity Glenburgie, especially once diluted. I've overlooked Bladnoch for the past decade-and-a-half, and I'll make sure to avoid that mistake going forward.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87

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