Tag Archives: Black Bottle

Black Bottle

Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky
40% ABV

What the Blender Says
Nose: Fresh and floral with freshly sawn oak aromas. Spicy with hints of smoke.
Palate: Silky, mellow and fruity with balanced smoky / peaty flavours then sweet oak and heather honey.
Finish: Soft, elegantly spicy, nutmeg, pepper and a gentle lingering smokiness.

What Richard Says
Nose: The nose is a bit of a ruffian with a rough and meaty structure to it.
Palate: Creamy and smooth with the sweetness of a wildflower honey watered down for bar use. The honey sweetness is augmented by notes of apricots and peaches with a light handed layering of smokiness.
Finish: This finishes with just a dusting of pepper and smoke wrapped around a licorice core.
Comments: Black Bottle is a lovely fellow. It is easy drinking on the smokier side. It works well as an inexpensive table dram or a nice subtle introduction to smokier whiskies.
Rating: Stands Out

Event Notice: Isle of Mull Tasting at Mac McGee

Isle of Mull Tasting

Tuesday, April 14th @ 7:30 p.m.

Tonight the lovely Haley Cognata will be hosting and guiding us through some delicious unchillfiltered whiskies from the Isle of Mull.
We will have the pleasure of tasting:

Black Bottle
Tobermory 10yr Old
Tobermory 15yr Old
Ledaig 10yr Old

All for $38.
Please RSVP at macmcgees@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you!

Slainte, Mac McGee

Let’s have some fun with blends

I try to sound a little more professional when I write. So, you would be forgiven if you haven’t picked up on the fact that I’m a bit of a smartass. I also enjoy a good joke or ruse at the expense of others. Physical pain or personal embarrassment isn’t required. Merely getting one over a friend or acquaintance is enough to satisfy me in the short term.

With that in mind, I’d like to propose a little holiday prank. Let’s assume for a moment that you have a well stocked whiskey bar. Included in this bar would be a nice pleasing bottle of blended scotch. Now let’s also assume you have one or more friends who are such single malt snobs that they won’t dare to lower themselves enough for blended scotch to even pass their lips. If this is the case then I suggest slipping them a dram of that nice blended scotch you have to see their reaction. I’m not talking about giving them a glass of swill as a joke. I’m suggesting that you slip them a glass of good blended scotch and get their reaction for the sole purpose of exposing their ridiculous snobbery and hypocrisy. If you’re quick with the camera phone then you might even get a picture of their face after they’ve told you how good it is and you subsequently tell them it’s a blend. If you do, feel free to email it to me.

I’ve mentioned my opinions and frustrations on several occasions regarding the growing perception of blended scotch among single malt drinkers. In case you haven’t read those before let me reiterate:

1. Blended Scotch as a category is not inferior to Single Malt Scotch.
2. Blended Scotch can be very good.
3. Some Blended Scotch can be much better than some Single Malt Scotch.
4. Most of the Scotch sold in the world is Blended not Single Malt by an huge margin.
5. If it wasn’t for Blended Scotch we wouldn’t have the variety of Single Malts we do because most of their sustaining production goes into blends.

Read it, print it, preach it. If you yourself fall into the camp of “malts rule, and blends drool” then I suggest doing a test on yourself. The next time you’re in the liquor store pick up a nice blend. Try it by itself. Try it blind with other malts. Try it with friends. You might be really surprised by what you find. If you want a place to start here are a few you might want to try.

Black Bull 12 Year Old
Black Bottle
Johnnie Walker Gold
Chivas Regal 18 Year Old
Compass Box Asyla
Compass Box Great King Street

Drink wisely my friends,


Drinking In A Depressed Economy

Despite the worldwide economic crisis, the whiskey industry continues to see growth. While people are spending less at bars, liquor stores are feeling flush. Unfortunately for the consumer, this means that prices are going up as supply comes down. So, you ask, how am I to expand my whiskey experience without going broke? Well, that is the subject of my latest blog, the best values in whisk(e)y.

Face it, if you are on a budget, you are not going to go out and buy a 25 year old Macallan. However, that does not mean that you have to subsist on Rebel Yell and Bell’s Scottish whisky. You can get some bang for your buck.

Of all the types of whisk(e)y, bourbon is going to give you the best value. If you live in Kentucky, or a state with low interstate and alcohol tariffs, then this is doubly true for you. Finding a decent bourbon for under $25 should not be difficult, regardless of where you live. To my mind, the standard issue Buffalo Trace or the yellow label Four Roses bourbon is the best you can get at this price point. For a few dollars more, you can upgrade to the Four Roses Small Batch or Elmer T. Lee.

If you can handle it, rye whiskey is also a great value. Russell’s Reserve 6yo is quite affordable, but my recommendation is the Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond 100 proof. Russell’s Reserve is still a little harsh for my taste.

You will not see us write about Canadian whisky very often, but one of the best deals in whisk(e)y is Forty Creek Barrel Select. In my experience, you typically need to spend a lot of money to get a Canadian whisky suitable for anything other than a cocktail. Forty Creek is the first affordable (around $25) Canadian whisky that has a great taste and a full bodied profile that stands up to other whiskeys (stay tuned to Whisk(e)y Apostle for a formal review of 40 Creek).

For other whiskeys, we are going to have to go up a bit to get a decent dram, but you still don’t have to break the bank.

If you are looking for a deal with Irish whiskey, I will once again suggest Redbreast. Redbreast is one of a handful of pure pot stilled whiskeys from Ireland. You will never find another whiskey this complex at this price (around $45). The nose and palate are both filled with sweetness and botanicals. If you don’t have a bottle of this on your shelf, shame on you. You can also pick up some Irish blends (Black Bush is my favorite). Stock standard Jameson or Bushmill’s are also great values, but will likely not take you on the sensuous journey that you should expect from your dram.

When it comes to Scottish whisky, most distilleries offer a 10yo or 12yo option for a reasonable price. Chance are, if you like a more expensive version, you will like the economy version. Just don’t expect the same nuance. You can also get a deal on older whiskies by purchasing independent bottlings. However, unless you can taste before you buy or can find a review you trust, you can really get burned on independent bottles that do not retain any of the characteristics of the distillery from which they originated.

Blended Scotches are always an option, but most good blends cost as much as single malts. Johnnie Walker and Black Bottle are trusted brands. If you are going to go with Johnnie Walker, you should be able to find the Green label for less that $50, the Black for less than $40, and the Red for less than $30.

If you want to get the most of your whisk(e)y selections, find some friends who are also into whiskey and coordinate your purchases. Then get together and have a tasting. After all, what use is a good dram if you can’t share?

*Prices are estimated. Actual prices in your area could vary greatly.*