Whisky ligger som brukligt
är på kennel Thorsvi, till grund för valparnas namn.
Tidigare har det varit skotska malt whisky destillerier
(med två undantag: Single Malt och Mackmyra), men denna
gång ville vi vara lite ”roligare”. Eftersom både pappa
Will och mamma Kiwi har ordet Black (Blackbill resp
Blackwood) i sina namn så tänkte vi att valparna får
heta detta också, men med whiskyanknytning förstås.
Det visade sig finnas många att välja på! Black i
whiskysammanhang innebär oftast att den är rökig eller
Black Bottle är en sägenomspunnen blend som innehåller
alla maltwhiskysorter från ön Islay (utom möjligen Kilchoman), tillverkas av destilleriet Bunnahabhain.
Finns på Systemet i beställningssortimentet.
The Island of Islay is renowned all over the world for
its intensely powerful and charismatic Scotch whiskies.
Black Bottle is totally unique in being created from
whiskies from all seven of the famous distilleries on
Islay. Its spiritual home is the Bunnahabhain distillery
in the north-east of the Island.
Black Bottle was created in 1879 by Gordon Graham and
Co. based in Aberdeen. The three Graham brothers -
(Charles Innes, Gordon and David) original business was
tea but they switched their attention to whisky blending.
Soon the popularity of the whisky spread through the
East Coast fishermen who favoured it on long sea
Black Bottle's name came from its original bottle design
based on black German glass and echoing the traditional
pot whisky still. In 1914, following the outbreak of war,
production was switched to green glass as it is to be
Black Bottle has long been regarded as one of the
smoothest and most balanced of the Scotch Whiskies.
The skilful craft of blending only the finest malt and
grain whiskies delivers a wonderfully balanced and
whisky experience. Fresh and fruity on the nose it
combines full, honeyed and delightfully smoky flavours
that set it apart.
The tasting experience is rounded off with a long and
Rich and punchy, peat smoke wafting over plumes of fresh
blossom and fruit... Something coastal. Offers more peat,
but this time a honeyed sweetness develops, fruitcake
and oak. Honeyed smoke clings 'til the last. Enjoyable.
For far too long, Black Bottle has been a bit of a
well-kept secret. It is finally receiving the exposure
it deserves, thanks to the ambition and evangelical zeal
of owners Burn Stewart Distillers Ltd. Now more and more
consumers are being seduced by the original charms of
this demonstrably different whisky, as Burn Stewart
seeks to have its pride and joy embraced by the wider
world. Black Bottle has recently undergone a discreet
yet significant packaging makeover, leaving it looking
fit and confident.
In these image-conscious days the presentation of the
product is very important, but is there enough tangible
quality and integrity behind the design work to have
discerning consumers coming back for more?
Black Bottle boasts a proud and fascinating heritage,
with its origins in late 19th century Aberdeen and the
firm of Gordon Graham & Co. Their initial blending
experience was with tea! Blending the produce of
Scotland as well as that of India and Ceylon did not
appear to be a problem however, and soon their new baby
was being selected by many locals as their whisky choice.
As the whisky trade in Scotland boomed, the Grahams'
Black Bottle brand became well loved not just in
northeast Scotland, gaining a reputation that ultimately
spread far beyond Aberdeenshire. The Black Bottle story
features some fascinating characters, such as the
redoubtable matriarch Anne Jane Graham, universally
known as 'Granny Graham'.
Granny Graham conducted business from her Aberdeen home,
perpetually dressed in widow's black. She was an
indomitable lady, who even changed her nephew's surname
to Graham by deed poll so that the family name would
continue to be associated with Black Bottle whisky.
Family control ended during the 1950s, however, when
asset strippers bought and split up the company, selling
on the Black Bottle brand to Long John Distilleries Ltd
in 1958. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Black Bottle
soon became just another blended whisky, and
unfortunately one without too much finesse. The
traditional, full-bodied character associated with it
during the days of the Grahams disappeared, though
happily not forever.
It is believed the 'original' Black Bottle would have
had a notably smoky character due to the predominance of
Aberdeenshire malts in its composition. These whiskies
were distilled using barley malted with peat from New
Pitsligo. This gave the finished product a pungency we
would most obviously associate today with the whiskies
of Islay, Scotland's most revered whisky-producing
island, noted for its peaty, smoky malts. In 1995 Black
Bottle's original and singular identity was triumphantly
restored, when the bold decision was taken to include
malts from each of Islay's working distilleries.
Drinkers sometimes have the perception that all Islay
whiskies are massive medicinal 'peat monsters', but
there is actually a significant range of different
styles within the Islay region. When Burn Stewart
acquired the Black Bottle brand they also purchased
Bunnahabhain Distillery on Islay, and its malt whisky is
a key component in Black Bottle. It is fresh and sweet
on the nose, gentle on the palate, with rich malt, soft
honey, and just a touch of brine.
The historic Bunnahabhain distillery is managed by John
MacLellan, a native Islay man - or Ileach - who has
worked there for 17 years.
According to John, "Black Bottle and Bunnahabhain is a
marriage made in heaven.
Bunnahabhain is absolutely the right choice to be the 'background'
of the blend. It is the most lightly peated of the Islay
malts, and makes the perfect base. It's the palette that
other malts are mixed on. The other Islay malts are the
different colours: a dab or two of Ardbeg, Bowmore and
"As one foreign visitor once said to me, 'These other
blends are not blends, they are blands.' I don't know
about that, but ours certainly has a lot of character to
it. The minute you take the top off a new bottle of
Black Bottle in a warm room there's a presence.
Everybody looks up."
Leading Scotch whisky authorities have certainly been
looking up, as Black Bottle won a highly coveted Gold
Award at the 2005 International Wine & Spirit
Competition, while whisky writer and author Jim Murray
is a devoted fan of the blend. In both the 2005 and 2006
editions of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible he voted Black
Bottle 'Best Standard Blended Scotch Whisky', calling it
"a blend that has to be tasted to be believed."
Burn Stewart's Master Blender Ian Macmillan refers to
himself as "the 'keeper' of the blend," and he says, "When
we bought the business in 2003, Black Bottle was one of
the most important aspects of the purchase.
"Black Bottle is a fun blend to work with. The power of
the big, peaty Islays is calmed by the considerable
Bunnahabhain influence, and sweeter Speyside and
Highland malts help to give a really well balanced
blend. It has a high malt content, and all the malts in
it are highly regarded, quality malts in their own
right. The fusion of malt and grain we use gives a
nicely structured, rich whisky, with a distinctive nose
and flavour. There are few, if any, other blends
available in the UK that come close to it in terms of
Black Bottle has gone back to its roots in the finest
possible fashion, and thankfully stands out proudly from
the crowd. That is surely worth raising a glass to.
Black Bottle has a rich and golden colour, with a nose
that is immediately fresh and fruity, with hints of peat.
The palate is full, with a slightly honeyed sweetness,
followed by a distinctive smoky flavour. The finish is
long and warming, with a smoky, Islay character coming
through. 40% ABV, 70cl, £14.99, widely available.