‘Water of Life’ originally invented to be utilized for medicinal purposes but in the modern world, it is consumed as a relish drink. A spirit that leaves an effervescent sensation on the palate and is probably a combination of smokey and fruity flavors while envisaging a wide spectrum of fragrances. Whiskey is the spirit in the show here! Intrigued yet? Follow me through the journey of Bladnoch Distillery – Scotland’s finest distillery crafting luscious whiskies and their upcoming annual single cask collection.
Story of the Bladnoch Distillery
A distillery that witnessed the leadership of numerous individuals (10) was founded by brothers John and Thomas McClelland in the year 1817. Named after and situated near the ‘Bladnoch’ river running along pleasant countryside. This distillery holds a golden historic timeframe of 204 years and still operating flawlessly.
Current owner David Prior’s passion for Scotch Whiskey and enthusiasm to devote his time in reinstating the local community led him to purchase the Bladnoch Distillery in 2015. The Bladnoch Distillery symbolizes the phrase – ‘Still, in Flow”. As they describe it
“In the rapid flow of life there are moments of stillness. In the early mornings, the silence of the dawn, the beauty of a crashing wave. In the quiet reflection by a roaring open fire, the deep connection between friends sharing a great scotch. Like a tranquil pool in the bend of a rushing river. This is the spirit of Bladnoch. For over 200 years: Still, in flow”.
Bladnoch Distillery has been honored with a lot of awards recently. 2021 World Whiskies Awards – Bladnoch Distillery sent three entrants all were esteemed as proud medal recipients. Bladnoch 14yo, Category Winner for Single Malt 13 to 20 years. Bladnoch 11yo, Silver Medalist for Single Malt 12 years & under Bladnoch Single Cask 03, Bronze Medalist for Single Cask Single Malt 13 to 20 years.
The Art of Blending the perfect concoction:
Creating a blend, pouring the essence of the tradition whilst being creative enough to deliver something unique. It all steeps down to the roots of the production – ingredients, distilling process and barrels used along with other crucial factors in the process.
Bladnoch Distillery is the southernmost distillery in Scotland and it takes pride in their production method, they source required water from the nearby ‘Bladnoch’ river and malt is obtained from British growers. Some facts about the distilling process:
- Fermentation Time – 48 hours (min)
- Stills – 4 (2 x wash, 2 x spirit)
- Wort Clarity – Clear
- Mash tun type – Semi Lautner
- Capacity per annum – 1.5 million litres
- Filling Strength – 63.4%
- Heat Source – Steam
Master Distiller Dr Nick Savage joined Bladnoch Distillery in the year 2019 and since has contributed significantly to the growth of the distillery. Completed his PhD. in mechanical engineering, worked with popular brands like Diageo, Grants, Edrington etc. before joining Bladnoch Distillery.
‘The Bladnoch 2021 Single Cask Collection’
So finally, here we are about to witness this year’s premium collection! The Bladnoch Single Cask Collection 5-year program has announced to launch 5 single casks plus a 6th cask that has been deemed as a specialty thus making this collection exceptional as compared to the initial 5 single cask collection released in 2020. Handpicked by Dr. Nick Savage. So without any further ado, this year’s collection:
- Single Cask 2021/01– Cask 237 bottled at cask strength and natural color, matured in a Bourbon barrel this aged malt portrays notes of chocolate, toasted oak, and fresh apple. Distilled in April 2008. Priced at £140.00 GBP (est. 14,450 INR)
- Single Cask 2021/02– Cask 209 bottled at cask strength and natural color, aged in Bourbon cask hints at flavors of vanilla pod and banana with a side of buttered popcorn. Distilled in March 2007. Priced at £140.00 GBP (est. 14,450 INR)
- Single Cask 2021/03– Cask 1022 bottled at cask strength and natural color, matured in Palo Cortado Sherry barrels displays flavors of toasted almonds, wood spices, and dried apricots. Distilled in October 2005. Priced at £170.00 GBP (est. 17,550 INR)
- Single Cask 2021/04– Cask 1034 bottled at cask strength and natural color, matured in an exquisite Amontillado Sherry barrel, this aged malt displays fruity sweet notes of cinnamon, figs, plums, and licorice. Distilled in October 2005. Priced at £160.00 GBP (est. 16,550 INR)
- Single Cask 2021/05– Cask 6703 bottled at cask strength and natural color, matured in a Port pipe displays notes of apricots, polished oak, and hints of licorice. Distilled in April 2007. Priced at. £170.00 GBP (est. 17,550 INR)
The shining star of this collection is the addition of a 6th cask – The Canasta Butt (one of the few to exist in Bladnoch’s warehouses), this malt will be sold in unique black beauty bottle. Priced at £400GBP (41,300 INR) & distilled in 2002, this single malt displays notes of licorice, almonds and delicate florals.
This collection showcases some of the finest and rarest of whiskies while demonstrating the quality of maturing notes and distilling procedure at Bladnoch Distillery. 2021 Single Cask Collection has been launched on 26th May 2021 and is extremely limited and only available on Bladnoch’s official website as of now. So head out there to attain one of the finest of 2021 before it sells out!
Other popular products by the brand:
- Bladnoch Vinaya – One of the first unique combination of ex-Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks released by the historic distillery. The beauty of this Lowland style Single malt lies in the name as well as the flavor engulfing the palate. ‘Vinaya’ a Sanskrit term symbolizes respect and gratitude, paying homage to the original founders of the distillery. This single malt possesses a light and refreshing finish while displaying notes of fresh apple, sweet floral grass and chocolate with hints of pepper
- Bladnoch Talia – A 26-year-old, red wine expression matured in American oak red wine casks. The Bladnoch Talia showcases a bright ‘sunrise’ color display notes of mature oak berries, licorice, and hints of nutmeg. Strength 44.0% Vol.
- Bladnoch 17-year-old – A deep copper-red color, filled in Bourbon casks (2001) disgorged and re-filled for robust, complex flavors into red wine casks. This 17-year-old legacy displays hints of deep dark cherries with gingerbread, dried fruits and cinnamon. Gold medalist 2019 San Francisco Spirits Competition.
- Bladnoch Samsara – Samsara translates to the term ‘rebirth’. Matured in Canadian Red wine & Bourbon Casks, a full-bodied blend showcasing a deep copper-gold color with notes of vanilla and hints of citrus. This malt has bagged a lot of awards:
- San Francisco Spirits Competition 2018 – Gold
- The Scotch Whisky Masters 2018 – Gold
- San Francisco Spirits Competition 2017 – Silver
- The Scotch Whisky Masters 2017 – Silver