Type- blended Scotch Whisky from Islay Malts, no age statement, 40% ABV
Appearance- a Chardonnay with hints of sunlight, medium fast-moving tears
Aroma- a sweet honey plays with the nose as traces of salt run around almost out of reach. My welcome Islay friend steps onto to the field and plays with my senses as smoke and light hints of earth reach back and give way to a slightly salted driftwood.
Taste- very clean and crisp. Smoke starts the game as the honey plays ball. One might think with honey this would be a sweet dram, but it is a little less and I would call it more of a “medium dry” with slight tastes of bitter fruits. It is slightly creamy in the mouth feel, but I want more and almost leaves me lacking.
With Water- the water enriches the smoke pleasantly but takes away from the other flavors, mellowing them out and sending them back to the dugout almost in shame.
Finish- the smoke strikes a home-run again with open arms and makes me happy it came. It is slightly warming and dries even more on the finish. It is medium short in length and as it packs up at the end of the game hints of tobacco and even more slightly a mix of salt and pepper put up the finishing touches.
Verdict- Possibly Again
Smokey/earthy style whisky can be a “love it or hate it” proposition because of the aromas and flavors one might experience. In the case of Black Bottle, you are getting a good introduction to those flavors at a very modest and tolerable level. I would suggest trying this whisky for that aspect and it has a very good price point (usually can get it between $20-25 USD). Once introductions are made and a good impression of those types of whiskys exist, it is time to move on to more complex and well-rounded expressions. I may buy this again in the future, but only if I am feeling nostalgic for one of the first Islays I have tried.