Black Friday is a weird consumer tradition originating from the United States. It seems as though it is now pretty much adopted everywhere in the Western world. Indeed, retailer The Whisky Exchange has been releasing a Black Friday Whisky since 2017. Each has been good value for money, so I’m pretty confident the Black Friday Edition 2021, a 22-year-old from a mysterious Speyside distillery, will be also.
In previous years it hasn’t been too difficult to guess the true identity of the Black Friday Editions. One well-placed hint by the The Whisky Exchange’s team was usually more than enough. For example, we’ve already been treated to a Glenfarclas, a Highland Park, an absolutely fantastic Glenburgie and finally last year’s Ardmore.
Finding out where the new Speyside 22 Years is from, will prove to be very tricky, if not impossible. We’ve seen many undisclosed single malts in the previous few years where not even the bottlers knew what exactly they had released. The Black Friday Edition 2021 seems to be another such case.
Similar to the April Fool’s Day whisky from earlier this year, the new Black Friday Whisky is an anonymous Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, but this time bottled at 22-years-old. It’s a vatting from a number of casks, the details of which The Whisky Exchange does not know.
So, if you’re contemplating buying this, this’ll be an exercise in trust. You need to put your trust in the expertise of the people that have picked this whisky. Considering their track record — be it with previous Black Friday Whiskies or releases for the Whisky Show — you’re in good hands.
And you’ll also have to put some trust in me and other reviewers like me. It probably helps if you’ve often agreed with my assessments over the years. But buying a whisky without tasting it will always carry some risk, no matter how trustworthy you think The Whisky Exchange and I are.
Speyside 22 Years ‘Black Friday Edition’ (49.2%, The Whisky Exchange, 1800 bts.)
Nose: A whisper of fresh sawdust with subtle notes of cotton candy, caramel-glazed apples and gritty pears. There’s some furniture polish, mush banana and blossom honey too, with finally a few crushed mint leaves and warm sugar-coated nuts. Very elegant. Taste: Waxy notes and sweet honey with some After Eight’s and brown sugar, but the fruitiness from the nose makes an encore as well. Apples and pears with a light dusting of cinnamon and a pinch of white pepper. Finally a few herbal touches. Finish: Drying but not too much. Burnt toast and latté, but ending on notes of chalk, mint and stewed apples.
The Whisky Exchange's Black Friday Edition 2021 is very mature and might actually come across as older than it is. This Speyside 22 Years is fruity and there's old oak influence, but unlike the April Fool's Whisky it is not yet pushing the boundaries of maturation length.
The new Black Friday Whisky 2021 is available from 6:00 AM (GMT) or 7:00 AM (CET) on November 26th 2021. If you've got a spare £110 lying around, you can grab a bottle here.