Let me start by saying that I like Bladnoch as a whisky. I loved the sheep label 12yo from the old owners.
But Bladnoch has had a turbulent past, and when the last owner decided he could not continue, potential buyers were thin on the ground. David Prior ended up buying the place in 2015 and immediately went about designing a heavy new bottle and planning stupidly expensive special editions.
I got around to trying the new range because I was excited to see what they had done. I shouldn’t have been.
Bladnoch 10 46.7%
Nose: Dough and yeast, something savoury like Parmesan cheese, lemon but also a sour note, not really in balance, nettle and mint.
Taste: Sharp arrival, quite sour and astringent, lemon and dough, some yeastiness, weird off note into the finish.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Ugh, odd, metallic.
Oh dear. This was actually the one I was most expecting to like from the new range.
Bladnoch Samsara 46.7%
Colour: Dark Gold
Nose: Similar style to the 10 with yeast and dough but with porridge, some ginger spice, dry oak, a little playdough/putty.
Taste: Crisp arrival, lemon citrus before the fatter doughy notes, quite clean though which is good.
Finish: Medium length. Soft, that clean lemon and porridge, some putty.
More like it but pretty boring. Where is the big Bladnoch character that I loved?
Bladnoch 15 46.7%
Nose: Christmas spices and cherry, some chocolatey malt, light orange, a little rubber, cream and nettle.
Taste: Soft and a little flat on the arrival, mouthfeel is thin until the chocolate and malt arrive, cream and nettle, some rubber into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. Some oak, quite dry here, rubbery Sherry.
Fully matured in Sherry but still not enough to save it. My favourite from the new range I've tried but still not great. Again, quite average and also the most expensive.
Bladnoch 17 46.7%
Colour: Dark Gold, Red Tint
Nose: Herbal, dry and spicy, red gummy bears, but also a little rubber, nettle, vanilla, grass, a little porridge in the background.
Taste: Soft and fruity arrival but quite a thin mouthfeel, then dry oak, red gummy bears, cherry lips and astringent rubber.
Finish: Medium/Long length. More astringent rubber and a little harsh oak and spice.
15 years in Bourbon, 2 in Cali red wine. Another uninspired Bladnoch. The red wine has killed off the mouthfeel on the taste I think. Feels like a bit of desperate move to try and save whisky from bad barrels and hasn’t really paid off.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch reviews #759-#762
Whisky Network Reviews #901-#904
Network Average: 75.1
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.