Bladnoch: 17 Year (Scottish Lowland Single Malt Whisky: 17 Years: 55% ABV)

Visual: Slightly yellowed grain.

Viscosity: Very slow puckering that drips down in a steady fashion from the spirit.

Nose: Slight eggs. Not harsh for the abv. Pencil shavings. Bags of rice. Pancake mix. Water makes much more musty and sulphur touched with a hint of sugar dusting.

Body: Slick. Sweet custard. Alcohol is noticeable here. Cream doughnuts. Touch of sweet lime. Much sweeter with water. Also adds malt loaf and raisin. More water brings out chocolate cupcakes and banana.

Finish: Clinging and viscous remains.  Butterscotch? Warming with a good dose of oak. Slight milky chocolate.  Waters adds a squeeze of lime and more chocolate – almost a dry chocolate cake.  Slightly milky. More water makes almost banoffee like or light coffee cake.

Conclusion: Lowlands whisky tends to remind me of Irish whiskey for some reason. Probably the habit of triple distilling. Which this distillery no longer does. Yet it still reminds me of it. Huh.

For all its imposing abv this whisky has the same light touch and sweetness I attribute to its Irish cousins. Light fluffy doughnut in the body, chocolate in the finish and benefits massively from a touch of water to open up. However even neat the years of it prevents the alcohol from burning too much. Very smooth and easy going.

It took a while to grow on me. It’s not got a huge range on the nose, but you get a nice range of sweet flavours when you hit the body. Very easy drinking and the chocolate finish really lasts.

I’ve heard this referred to as a dessert whisky and it does make sense to view it as such. Don’t put it against anything too heavy, but the sweetness would suit pavlovas or banana splits or the like.

Overall decent though not varying much from the sweet theme.  There is much more on each level though. Nose is light, body better and finish brings occasional coffee cake like rises into the mix. Don’t hurry the sips then, let it soak in and roam.

Overall I would say I enjoy it. I also hear Bladnoch play with quite a range of peating and casks. So I think there may be a whisky out there from that really fits into the whisky milieu I prefer, but even as it is it bodes very well for spirit as it takes a style that is not my favourite and makes me appreciate it.

With this expression I am impressed, with hope for the distillery more so.

Background: Lowland malts often have an image problem. These date way back to late 1700’s when Highland whisky was not allowed to be sent below the highland line and lowland whisky turned out massive amounts of low quality whisky.  They never seem to have quite recovered despite a massive change in quality over the years.  Bladnoch has closed and reopened many times over the years and is currently one of the few surviving lowland distilleries. From the age I’m guessing this expression predates the reopening back in 2000. From what I can see, unlike many low land distilleries Bladnoch is no longer triple distilled and hasn’t been for about 50 years. My research could be wrong on this though.