The Black Bottle whisky is a Scottish blend that is sublime as far as blends go. Everything about this drink just seems to work. Starting with the packaging, it is something a bit different and could almost be featured in as a rum prop in a pirate movie. This is important, as it is often hard for a brand to stand out in the lower-end of the whiskey market. As aside, it is sometimes marketed with a pair of drinking glasses and even these are shaped in such a way as to stand out from the crowd.
The whiskey itself is a beautiful gold and is most easy on the eye. It is, however, in the tasting that the real value for money shines through. It is quite smoky and has a very rich feel to it as well as a nice sweet undercurrent. I suspect that in a blind tasting, it would be able to compete with whiskies that are considered to be far superior. Some of the smokiness dissipates with the addition of water and that reduces some of the appeal but it remains an appealing drink for those who do not drink their whiskies neat.
In short, Black Bottle doesn’t aim to be more than it is, but it excels at what it does. I give it a 5 out of 5.
The Black Bottle brand was relaunched a few years ago, and they decided to change the blend and packaging to something closer to what the blend was back in 1879. Before the change, I’ve heard people say that the Black Bottle was their favourite blend, and that they pretty much hate the “new” blend. That’s understandable, because prior to the relaunch, Black Bottle had a heavy focus on Islay, which naturally brought it’s salty peatiness with it, so it can be a big shock when the thing you like about a whisky changes.
That being said, it turns out that people that never knew the older version, seem to really enjoy this blend. It’s quite fruity and sweet with hints of oak, and only slightly smokey. I enjoy a good peaty whisky, so I’m very glad I never had a chance to taste the old version, and can enjoy it for what it is, and not what it was.
The black bottle itself seems a little gimmicky to me, because it looks like it’s trying to be old, even though it really has nothing to prove, so I wish it didn’t try so hard. I felt that was a bit of detractor.
All round it’s an enjoyable blend I happily drink with friends. I give it a 3 out of 5.