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Bladnoch 1989/2005, 16 yo, Cadenhead Authentic Collection

This lowland distillery is named for the river on the banks of which it is located. It is Scotland’s most southerly active distillery, if viewed on a map, one would notice it is just a little more southerly than the English city Newcastle, albeit on the Scottish side of the border.

Founded in 1817 by Thomas McClelland, it remained in the family for over a century until it closed the first time in 1938.

The Bladnoch Distillery ltd was formed and acquired the distillery in 1956, but the company itself was acquired by Ian Fisher in 1964, under whom the 2 stills were doubled to 4 in 1966. The distillery was bought over by the Inver House Distillers and came into the United Distillers fold in 1985 after a series of corporate take overs and mergers, but operated only 8 years until it was mothballed a second time in 1993.

In 1994 Raymond Armstrong, an Irishman, bought the distillery back from United Distillers – along with a condition that the annual output cannot exceed 100,000 L. In fact it took Raymond 6 years to bring the distillery back to operational status as only the stills and washbacks remained from the old distillery, so it was only in 2000 that new make flowed again. Considering that in 1817, the year after its founding, it was already capable of producing 131,640L, this limitation is somewhat severe though understandable – business is business.

How much these restrictions were a factor in Bladnoch’s recent third closure are unknown – between the sale of whisky, the rental of warehouse space and the whisky school on its premises, the distillery reportedly managed to turn a profit. The official story goes that the 4 shareholders could not agree to a sale and the relationships turned acrimonious. The distillery has since ceased production in March 2014 while awaiting liquidation and hopefully, a possible sale.

 

Bladnoch 1989/2005, 16 yo, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, bourbon barrel, 276 bottles, 54.9%

No photo of this bottling but it would look something like this:

bladnoch 17

Nose  Nose: Archetypal! Soft custard, oak frames, soft fragrance of cut peaches and sweet wood spice. Light fragrant profile but punchy at 54.9%. Also a firm greenness of mashy turnips, plus tiger balm. Old scented wrapping paper that seems to be a thing with this kind of refill bourbon wood nose? With water: Rounder an dsofter, more fragrant green fruit, honey drops.

Taste  Palette: Herbaceous sweetness, and good punchy body. Wet grass and quite some mineral oil. More rubbing balm and green fruit. With water: More vanilla and grassy and less minerals.

Finish  Finish: Medium, flinty and mineral oil notes, and turnips.

 

Score60

 

Light in profile but not lacking in flavour whatsoever, very pleasantly drinkable. Aperitif as MJ would say.

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This entry was posted on June 18, 2014 by in Bladnoch and tagged .
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