In a total 180 from its previous owners, Bladnoch has gone down the luxury whisky rabbit hole. That is a surefire way of scaring away all the loyal fans the distillery had during the reign of the Armstrong brothers. Not to say all was good then (the contrary is probably true), but they sure put out some lovely liquid.
However, without new owner David Prior pumping many millions into the derelict distillery, Bladnoch might’ve been lost for eternity. I just would’ve liked to have seen a different direction for Bladnoch. One that would’ve focused a bit more on affordable liquid and definitely with less bells and whistles. In the long run, that’ll probably sell better. And once you become more established, you can always throw in some luxury releases, if that’s what you desire.
Not everything is out of the average whisky drinker’s price range though, although the Bladnoch 10 is still rather expensive at around 55/60 euro.
Bladnoch 10 Years (46.7%, OB, 2018)
Nose: Somewhat waxy and pretty naked. Barley, pizza dough and a good amount of apples. Finally a touch of grass and some extremely shy lemon notes.
Taste: Rather floral, grassy and slightly nutty, with a touch of barley and some soft spices like white pepper. Just a tinge of lemon zest.
Finish: Creamy and spicy. Medium in length.
All the elements are here, it just needs more time to (hopefully) pick up more vibrant fruity notes. Very curious how this whisky produced in the final years of Armstrong ownership will develop in the future.