Ok so how many of you out there have not tried Black bull blended whisky ? Yes me too… So I thought it was about time to change that, so I looked at what was available and plumped straight for the 21yo ( sample obtained from a festival )
What do I know about this blended whisky I hear you ask, well the most obvious thing is the fact this whisky is the title sponsor for the Ecurie Ecosse motor racing team and believe it or not this blended whisky has been around since 1864 !! So it’s not what you can call a relatively young product.. 1897 sees the first attempt to release into European markets and eventually licensed in the USA in 1933 after Prohibition is ended. 2001 sees the Shand Family purchase the brand as part of a package for Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd..
2013 then sees the first release of a Limited 21 yo Racers reserve before the standard 21 yo is released in 2014..
So a little about the whisky itself.. Obviously the youngest whisky incorporated in this blend is 21 years of age, with the majority said to be from the highlands along with a drop or two from Speyside and Islay… There is no colour added and this has not been chill filtered, and along with the 50% abv this has a ratio of 55% malt to grain whisky..
Nose.. Fruity and fresh aromas greet the nose instantly, it’s like sticking your nose into a bowl of fresh fruits and natural sugary syrup.. Gentle spices start to develop with cinnamon, and a faint touch of ginger and pepper mixing well with vanilla and citrus notes.
Palate.. A lot more spice on the palate than I expected, a touch of oak and then the sweetness and fruits fight their way through to give this a more balanced feel.. There is some rather nice honeyed notes, vanilla and sugared almonds with slithers of candied orange and lemon.
Finish.. Fruity sweet with a spiced kick.
Thoughts.. At £90 ( ish ) this isn’t the cheapest blend on the market but it certainly packs a punch.. First impressions were a little too spicy for my liking but once it opens up it develops into a rather nice whisky, those sweeter notes take it up a notch and help develop this into something worth talking about and giving you the urge to dive right back into the glass for another sip…