Blue Hanger Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
10th Limited Release
What the Blender Says:
Arguably one of the world’s most fashionable whiskies, Blue Hanger 10th Limited Release makes its debut this month thanks to San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Company and Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits of London. Limited to only 4,398 bottles, this new variant of Blue Hanger, which is exclusive to the U.S., is comprised of one butt of Bunnahabhain 1987, one hogshead of Bunna Moine 2007, Mortlach 1997 and Bunnahabhain 1988, two hogsheads of Westport 1996, and three butts of a 2007 blended malt comprised of Bunnahabhain, Glenallachie, Glenfarclas, Glengoyne and Tamdhu.
This blended malt whisky is named after William “Blue” Hanger, the Third Lord Coleraine, a loyal customer of Berry Bros. at the end of the 18th century. Considered one of the best-dressed men of his day, his nickname came from his preferred clothing color. Blue Hanger was originally a blended Scotch whisky intended for the diplomatic export market in 1934, but disappeared for a period of time until 2003 when Doug McIvor, spirits manager, began his experiments in vatting malts. His objective from the beginning has been to create the best blended malt possible from existing stock.
The initial release in the U.K. of Blue Hanger in November 2003 ran to a mere 700 bottles and was a vatting of only two single malts: Glen Grant and Glenlivet. The first commercially available blended malt assembled by McIvor, Blue Hanger immediately secured a devoted following, which has led to each subsequent release being eagerly anticipated by whisky enthusiasts around the world.
“The ethos of Blue Hanger is to create the most balanced, complex and textured small batch blended malt whiskies possible from our diverse cask reserves,” says McIvor. “This 10th limited release exudes deep fruity aromas with hints of vanilla, leather and oriental spices. Behind the bursting apple and melon skin fruitiness is a delicate peat-smoke imbued by the Islay malt content that becomes more evident on the creamy palate as it swells. The finish is long lingering, fruity and spicy.”
Color: Pale golden
Nose: Bright; banana skin, fresh apple, hints of violets, creamy with new leather and firm smokiness
Palate: Complex, fruity with evolving texture and emerging smokiness
Finish: Long lasting with spice and lingering peatiness
What Richard Says:
Nose: Sweet round fruitiness with bananas foster, Granny Smith apple peel and wild flowers.
Palate: There is a lovely interplay of mild smoke and sweetness that evolves into a briny worn leather note.
Finish: Mild dry tartness of medium length with just a bit of smokiness sticking around.
Comments: Blue Hanger is one of those things I’ve read about and wanted to try for years. When I heard the U.S. was getting an exclusive release I had to grab one. Note that each release is very unique and really are only similar in branding name only. This 10th release is very enjoyable and more than worth the $100 but admittedly I can’t compare it to any of the prior 9 releases because I haven’t had access to them to date.
Rating: Stands Out