If you can’t love a whisky with a name like Hankey Bannister, you can’t love anything.
Well, maybe a great name can’t buy you love after all. This Scotch blend is fairly typical — Highland and Speyside malt whiskys blended with Lowland grain whiskys to create a simple and relatively inoffensive drinking experience.
My only real complaint with Hankey Bannister is that the grain component really takes over in a way it shouldn’t: The nose is alcoholic and corn-like, almost heady with what amount to something like medicinal fumes.
Push past all this and you’ll find a spirit with at least some charm. Those corny notes evolve into more of a malty bread character as you sip, and the alcohol is much more mellow on the finish than on the attack. A touch of honey offers the slightest amount of extra complexity. It isn’t perfectly balanced, but it at least offers another data point for my theory that cheap Scotch is always better than cheap Bourbon.
B- / $16 / hankeybannister.com