Now more than 200 years old, the Lowlands-located Bladnoch recently revamped its core range, adding a variety of new spirits to its permanent catalog along with numerous special editions. Today we’re looking at a trio of these whiskies, including one of the distillery’s two new mass-market blends, bottled under the Pure Scot label.
Bladnoch Pure Scot Signature Blended Scotch Whisky – A blend of Bladnoch Single Malt combined with various whiskies from Speyside, the Highlands, and Islay. It’s a credible Johnnie Walker Black Label facsimile, complete with a touch of smoke and a hefty, lightly sweetened cereal core. Nuance is elusive from there, heavy on granary notes with gentle elements of lemon curd, cut grass, and toasted nuts — the peaty elements soon fading into the background. In essence, it’s all of Scotch in a single glass, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be, for better or for worse. 80 proof. B / $40 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]
Bladnoch Samsara – A no age statement release aged in a combination of bourbon and Californian red wine casks. Exotic and complex, the nose kicks off with notes of maple and brown buttery, before allowing an undercurrent of savory rye bread and a curious herbal note to settle in. A hint of saffron is detectable. The palate is denser than expected, at least at first, evoking notes of pizza dough before moving into a sweeter, sugar cookie character that’s topped off with a dusting of citrus. Amply bready on the finish, the wine element is most detectable here, though it comes across with more of a dry vermouth or fino sherry bent. Some char and black pepper notes round things out. 93.4 proof. B+ / $75 [BUY IT NOW FROM THE WHISKY EXCHANGE]
Bladnoch Adela 15 Years Old – Matured in oloroso sherry casks for 15 years. Sherry is a nice complement to the fruity-flowery Lowlands style, imbuing the slightly leathery, ruddy nose with a crisp citrus edge. Ample florals push through the winey notes to make a significant impression on the palate — a potpourri note really kicking in at times — with notes of fresh rye, some creosote, and a hint of dill all well represented. The finish is fairly mild given all that’s going on in the lead-up to the conclusion, a note of spicy green pepper giving the finish an extra layer of spice and a new dimension. 93.4 proof. B+ / $137