to begin with I do not have the most in depth knowledge of Bladnoch. The ones I tried (Signatory bottlings mostly) were of a light, fresh and flowery very typical youngish Lowland whisky. One should probably always have in mind that the task of the Lowland distilleries was mainly to provide affordable not to say cheap whisky for the townspeople of Glasgow and Edinburg. That does not mean that all of them are below average or expectation. Rosebank for example is said to be the best Lowland whisky there was. Typically Lowlanders were often bottled young below the age of ten years very often. Some do lose taste, eg. quality with age. So it is not surprising that tasting notes of Bladnoch are often not very favourable. Some hold their youth against them some their age later. Open the bottle I`d say.
Bladnoch was closed in the 1980ies and was to be rebuild. The new Irish owner thought otherwise after a time and Bladnoch went into small scale production again. There is a 10 and a 13, the latter with 40% vol and with 46% vol. What irritates me is the small print on the front label stating "Distilled in Scotland for Bladnoch Distillery". That may come from the fact that the trademark "Bladnoch" stayed with the seller of the distillery, Diageo.
It could rise the question on the other hand of what is in that bottle exactly?
kallaskander wrote: What irritates me is the small print on the front label stating "Distilled in Scotland for Bladnoch Distillery". That may come from the fact that the trademark "Bladnoch" stayed with the seller of the distillery, Diageo.
It could rise the question on the other hand of what is in that bottle exactly?
MrTattieHeid wrote:That does make it sound like a contract distilling, doesn't it? But if I'm not mistaken, if the name on the label is Bladnoch, it must come from Bladnoch. Perhaps it's some legalistic mumbo-jumbo indicating that it had been distilled by the old regime; "by Bladnoch Distillery" might legally mean the new company. Just a guess.
Well what do you know another one who watches (or has watched) too much X-Files , if you took the time from trying to find too much hidden in the small print in great big letters at the top it says "Distilled at Bladnoch" then the age . the exact words at the bottom are Distilled and "Bottled" in Scotland for Bladnoch Distillery which is meeting the legal requirements for the label (I've just been lookin into this for the label of a cask i'm going to bottle ). Knowing Raymond very well i think he may a bit dismayed that someone is casting doubts on his bottles , especially as he spent so much time and money buying back in old Bladnoch stocks ( Or as he would say , his bank manager spent the money.....).He is one of the nicest guys in the distilling industry and will go out of his way to make you feel welcome at his distillery , in fact most of the time he is too generous with his welcome.
The one thing that really knarks me on this (and other) forums is the way that certain people read conspiracy theories into every little thing and don't get their facts right . I tell you what , come over to our chat on a wednesday night and tell the people there of your thoughts and see what their reactions are seeing that most know Raymond very well and there might also be a chance that he'll be there as well .
This is a sign that the spirit was usually held in high regard, and Bladnoch is no exception.
(On the other hand, some distilleries close down, and people don't get too upset about it.....usually a sign that the malt was never much to get excited about!)
I've only had two expressions, a Signatory and an SMWS. Both were very, very good whiskies.
Drink and enjoy!
I've enjoyed IBs from Gordon & MacPhail, several Signatory bottles and I'm presently enjoying a cask strength 12yo '92 bottled by James Macarthur. The only one I've found too light was a 17yo '85 by Dun Bheagan (Ian Mcleod) and I still found it to be alright.
This time of year I love lowland whisky. I still enjoy Ardbeg, especially after seafood dinners, but I don't do 100% peat Islay 'tours' in an evening like I may in the winter. Rosebank is my other favorite lowland and I'm rapidly finishing a bottle of '91 13yo Signatory which I just recently bought.
Both are light, malty, with notes of citrous, grass, cereal, some malt and spice in the body with some tart fruity notes (apple?) and dry but warm finishes. Cask strengths can have hot finishes due to the ABV.
Unfortunately, both fully operational lowland distilleries are far from my favorites. There are some nice old and IB Auchs but the standard expressions leave much to be desired. The same goes for Glenkinchie, IMO. Don't swear off lowlands just because of these two.
Thanks for setting us straight--hey, that's why we throw this stuff out here, so that someone who actually knows something can give us the straight poop. [That's an okay word, Christian.] Unfortunately such a person is not always available at the propitious moment.... Anyway, I try very hard when making wild guesses or conjectures to label them as such, and the same with repeating undocumented rumor. You are right that such things tend to take on lives of their own, and I think folks should be very careful about repeating them. I remember hearing that Lagavulin was going to replace the 16 with a 12, for example, and just now we are hearing a lot about the demise of Balvenie 10, which may or may not occur, but so far is without official confirmation.
As for Bladnoch, I'm hoping to visit there at the end of my trip in October--I'm staying two nights in Isle of Whithorn in Galloway, a corner of the country I've previously neglected. I'm quite looking forward to it. Of course, I'll have just come from Islay, so who knows what kind of condition my taste buds will be in!
all very well. But "Distilled & Bottled in Scotland for Bladnoch Distillery, Bladnoch, Wigtownshire, Scotland DG8 9AB" leaves me with the question "Distilled by whom?". It comforts me that it does not state "Distilled in Ireland" on the label. But sorry, I find this misleading, confusing. Would any of you native speakers explain the difference between 'distilled for', 'distilled by' or 'distilled at' in this context to me, please? I do and did not want to attack your friend Raymond and I am happy as anybody that Bladnoch has not vanished from the face of the earth forever. Show me any other bottle of single malt whisky from Scotland bottled by the owner with remarks like that on the label.
What confuses me is the clear statement at the top which reads clearly "Distllied At Bladnoch" in contrast to the small print as cited above. Semantically if you do say "distilled & bottled for" it means clearly that it was not made by the Bladnoch distillery. That it was not bottled there either is of no relevance to me as most whiskies are no more bottled 'at source'. If this statement was put there to clearify that the whisky was distilled under the old owner and this very bottling is for and from the new owner then they managed to do away with all clearness very nicely. That is what I wanted to say in this matter and I do again ask "What is in this bottles?". That is a simple question and not a conspiracy theory. Asking it is far less deregatory than printing and putting confusing labels onto bottles of single malt whisky and thereby raising doubt and compromising the unwritten rule that a whisky is (in most cases) named after its producing distillery, even if inadvertently. See the "Cardhu Incident".
I confess I would tend to be wary when reading small print on bottles. Most of us do not know distillers personally or socially and if we did, people might think we had a conflict of interest when commenting about their products.
Having said that, when I e-mailed Bladnoch for their pricing details, I got a very warm and friendly reply. There are clearly humans there!
if you think this is odd you should see some forums I post in. No, seriously let´s get back to our subject. I found something to the point in an elder newsletter of the British wine and spirits house Gauntley.
Bladnoch 13 year old 46% £31.95
A delightfully crisp, youthful nose with the creamy Bourbon oak dominating. This is followed by a delicate touch of soft, citrus orange and tangerine. Light bodied with a lovely balance of soft citrus fruit, earth and granite. The middle opens up to display a very intense spicy character. Great length and finish.
Bladnoch 13 year old 55% £36.95
Less Bourbon oak on the nose. It has a greater elegance with a more typical grassy, straw, hay and earthy citrus nose. Very youthful and intense. The palate is softer with more white fruit and noticeable alcohol. It is more earthy than spicy with orange fruit notes. The addition of water softens it too much and it tends to loose its character, therefore I would recommend you drink it neat.
Bladnoch 16 year old 55% £41.95
A storming nose, absolutely superb. This is definitely my favourite. It is deeper and richer, with more of everything. The palate is stunning, sweet, luscious and full of juicy fruit. Quite soft alcohol is followed by straw, deried grass and reed flavours. Finishing with a return of the juicy fruit and earthy nuances.
Let me make amends with this bit of news for any feelings I might have hurt. And let my state, that my core question still is not answered.
I've been trying to pin Raymond down as to whether he's on the SOI chat tonight so you can come along and ask him yourself .
Given the great lengths he went to to restart production at the distillery , i wouldn't be surprised if there is a limit to the wording he can use on the bottlings by Diageo (as there is a limit on the quantity of OLA's he can produce ) .
The reason i got so annoyed about his is that as you know (or might not ) he originally bought the distillery to make into holiday homes . He then decided it would be a good idea to get it back into production so went back to UDV (as it was then) and fought with them to let him resume making whisky . He put a lot of time and his own (or his bank managers as he would point out !) money into Bladnoch . He also opened part of it up for use by the local community ( a large hall in the old filling store) which has concerts and local events (like the Wigtown book festival) , he also supports a lot of local events , like the recent Raft race , usually without receiving any thing in return !
So when i see how much of an effort he puts into it , it does get my back up when someone starts casting doubts on the bottlings because of the wording on the bottom of the label !!!
I hope you can meet him when your next over , he's a right character and "Canny Craic" .
never intended to slight Mr Armstrong or his commitment effort work or spirit it took to give us Bladnoch back. As far as I know the story he is an investor who wanted to convert the distillery into holiday flats. Ay, I do admire and apreciate the long way he has come. All I asked for is a bit of clarity. Sorry for all the fuss.
Would that every distillery in Scotland were owned by such a person, and that he had a defender as eloquent as you are. You make a good Gordon, Gordon.
Thank you for your kind words , been called a lot of things but never eloquent , Usually "thick geordie........." !
Hope you'll call over to the wednesday chat some time if not there's always the SOI Forum .
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