Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Black Bottle and blends in general

Your tastes and our tastes are discussed here, so make sure you share your pleasures with us.

Black Bottle and blends in general

Postby bamber » Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:22 am

Tried my first bottle (not the whole thing honest) of Black bottle this weekend.

It wounds me to say it but I really can't help feeling that the grain dominates too much in this and all the cheaper blended scotch whiskies.

I was having an Islay afternoon - Black Bottle, Ardberg 10YO, and some Safeway's Islay (a vatted supermarket malt that is very good).

Bottom line: malt tastes better than grain in scotch no matter what the expression (imho).

The only blend that really cuts it for me is JW black label.

Cheers,

Bamber.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby r0b » Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:06 am

Did you have the 10 Yrs or the standard?
r0b
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Sweden

Postby Admiral » Tue Apr 06, 2004 4:18 am

Rob, is the malt-to-grain ratio different in the 10yo vs the regular bottling?

Bamber: I agree wholeheartedly with you. Often in a series of tastings, you can start with blends and then move up to malts. However, if you have a malt or two, & then try a blend, it is a very rare blend indeed that has the necessary body, depth, & flavour to stand up & compete.

I suspect the only reason why JW Black cuts it for you is that - being a Diageo product - there's probably enough Lagavulin, Caol Ila, & Talisker in there to give it sufficient bite.
Admiral
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2719
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 2:01 am
Location: Australia

Postby r0b » Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:06 am

Admiral, I'm not sure but IMO the 10 tastes very close to a single malt. I actually prefer the standard version most of the time as I find it has a lot more bite and I like it young.

bamber, I agree for the most part with your opinion on malts VS blends. But sometimes malts can be flat and dull, whereas the grain and malts in a blend can spice things up and bring a new dimension to it that plenty of malts can't manage on their own.

About the JWBL, as far as I know there's no Lagavulin in it at all now, only Caol Ila...?
r0b
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Sweden

Black Bottle and blends

Postby bamber » Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:16 am

It was the standard bottling.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying I did not enjoy it !!

With regards JWB, it certainly tastes as if its got some Talisker in it and it sure tastes malty to me :)

Cheers,

Bamber.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Postby r0b » Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:44 am

I think at one point JWBL was almost sold as Talisker (way back), so indeed it's in there.
r0b
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Sweden

Postby Admiral » Wed Apr 07, 2004 4:40 am

Rob,

I went to a Johnnie Walker Black Label promotion night about 18 months ago, and they advised that Lagavulin was indeed one of the component malts.

However, given that there are (apparently) 41 different grain & malt whiskies in JW Black, you would expect there to be more than just Caol Ila supplying the Islay content! Maybe they also use Ardbeg or Laphroiag?

It's nice to think that Diageo do their best to use only their own products in their blends, but - according to the JW legend - the recipe for JW Black has remained unchanged. (I'm very sceptical about this, since countless distilleries have closed since JW Black was first produced). In any event, back when JW Black was first conceived, it is most probable that distilleries like Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and Talisker were all owned & run by three different & independent companies.
Admiral
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2719
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 2:01 am
Location: Australia

Postby hpulley » Wed Apr 07, 2004 7:08 pm

I like malt whisky and I like grain whisky, just not in the same glass and like you, if I can tell a blend is made of both then I don't like it.

Harry
hpulley
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2503
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Postby Aidan » Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:41 am

Maybe JW has the same recipe as its sales might have been enough to keep the distilleries it uses open.

I like malt, grain and blends. They all vary in quality between bad and brilliant.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Postby r0b » Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:05 am

Aidan wrote:I like malt, grain and blends. They all vary in quality between bad and brilliant.


As all whiskies do, regardless of form and origin... It's a matter of finding what works for you.
r0b
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Sweden

Postby Aidan » Thu Apr 08, 2004 8:03 am

Absolutely, Rob, that's my point.
Aidan
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3252
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Dublin

Return to Whisky Tastings

Whisky gift and present finder