I find that the design of label and bottle on a spirit has an impact on the consumer. Look at the bright, neon-colored graphics and plastic caps on bottom shelf spirits and you know what to expect. Look at sleek, elegant and artistic bottle and label design and it indicates what lies inside. Thus, it is interesting that rather than seeking to make itself stand out on the shelf, Black Bottle remains quietly subdued, yet speaks volumes.
Originally produced in the late 1870’s by the Grahams of Aberdeen, Scotland; Black bottle found itself going through a series of hardships that nearly caused the blend to be long forgotten. World War I caused a shortage of black glass from Germany, ironically causing the whiskey to be sold in green glass. Later, the distillery itself caught fire and left the business in decline. Finally, twenty-four years ago, the blend was reformulated using Islay single malts and today for the first time in 100 years, the whisky is once again sold in a black glass bottle.
Black Bottle (80 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Light peat smoke with a mouth-watering maltiness.
Taste: Sweet, smooth and viscous at first, upon swallowing the mild smoke flavor hits leaving a chewy and mild cigar-like flavor. Plenty of vanilla and caramel come through at the end bidding a fond farewell.
Finish: Fairly short, but tasty.
Overall: This is a fine blended scotch that gives you more of an Islay character than let’s say Famous Grouse. The smoke never overwhelms, but instead supports the malt, giving it an extra depth of richness. Try this in your next Blood & Sand and see what you think.
GSN Rating: B+
For more information go to: Black Bottle