Recently ERB in DTLA put on cask strength tasting featuring a lineup of new Blackadder releases. I’ve never fully covered Blackadder here on The Whiskey Jug, but I’m definitely no stranger to them as they’re a favorite of the Malt Nuts and Blackadder bottlings make a regular appearance at the meetings. Though this was the first time I ever got to sit down and go through a selection of their whiskies, and one rum, all in a row. The experience was taken to the next level when the WhiskyRedhead showed up in a kilt to pour and talk about the distilleries we were tasting. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that… I should have.
If you’re not familiar with Blackadder they’re a NDP who purchases casks either directly from the distillery or off the whiskey barrel secondary market in Scotland. They then bottle those casks, carefully adding a bit of barrel char to any labeled Raw Cask to complete the look, and then ship them around the world for whisky geeks to enjoy. Without further ado, here’s my notes on the latest Blackadder releases.
- Nose: Complex fruit, malt, candy, citric acid, toffee and some light spice and dark fruit.
- Palate: Complex cherry heavy fruit, malt, apricot, dried strawberries and hay. Light spice and dark sweets.
- Finish: Long – Silken fruit and malt.
- Overall: A- (90-92) A great expression of Balvenie. Water smooths it out a bit and adds an element of strawberries & cream style sweetness to it. Lovely stuff.
Blackadder Auchroisk 23 years: 46.7%
- Nose: Fruit, malt, vanilla taffy, sweet pastry and a light spice.
- Palate: Tropical fruit, honey, malt, dark sweets and graham. Touch of a red fruit sweetness.
- Finish: Banana heavy fruit and malt.
- Overall: B (83-86) Water helps expand this whisky, but it’s not amazing. A good solid whisky yes, an amazing one, no.
Blackadder Teaninich 18 years: 55.9%
- Nose: Banana, malt, smarties, red licorice, toffee coffee syrup and light notes of peanuts and caramel.
- Palate: Malt, fruit, spice, herbal, vanilla taffy, root beer spice and light nuts and toffee syrup.
- Finish: Malt, caramel, hazel nuts, herbal and cinnamon.
- Overall: B (83-86) Smooth and silken, water brings out more of the nut and fruit notes. Especially on the nose where it turns peanut buttery.
Blackadder A Drop Of The Irish NAS: 60.4%
- Nose: Banana heavy fruit, malt, honey, spice and vanilla with light notes of dried apricot.
- Palate: Banana, a herbal nature, malt, tropical fruit and spice notes.
- Finish: Malt, spice, fruit, herbal and alcohol.
- Overall: C+ (77-79) Water brings out some additional dried orchard fruit and candy sweetness on the palate and on the nose it brings out light notes of orchard fruit and candy sweetness. Without water it’s like a banana soaked in Everclear.
Blackadder Bowmore 13 years: 59.2%
- Nose: Peat, fruit, malt, citric acid, saline, buttered biscuits and light caramel and wood.
- Palate: Peat, fruit, malt, salted butter, toffee and saline.
- Finish: Peat, fruit, malt, saline and a bit of dried peaches.
- Overall: B+ (87-89) A no frills solid Bowmore that delivers across the senses. This only furthers my theory about NDPs having better Bowmore releases than Bowmore itself does.
Blackadder Peated Amrut NAS: 62.1%
- Nose: Cinnamon, nutmeg, malt, dark sweets, earthy sage-like character and a light spice and campfire smoke.
- Palate: Hazelnut, mesquite, baking spice, earthy, herbal, wood and light smoke.
- Finish: Smoke kicks in at the end along with some spice and toasted malt.
- Overall: B+ (87-89) Complex spice bomb accented with smoke and a bit of sweetness. A great whisky.
Blackadder Peat Reek NAS: 59.3%
- Nose: Peat, vanilla, toasted nuts, honey and light toasted grains and nuts.
- Palate: Peat, vanilla, candy sweetness and a bit of fruit and honey.
- Finish: Peat, vanilla and citric acid.
- Overall: B- (80-82) This one and the Drop Of The Irish both flirted with a C+. Not very complex – tastes like young Caol ila.
Blackadder Panama Rum 2000 vintage: 57.3%
- Nose: Brown sugar, glazed pineapple, dried dark fruit, and spice. Like pineapple molasses cookies.
- Palate: Pineapple, brown sugar, dark fruit and spice.
- Finish: Pineapple and brown sugar.
- Overall: B (83-86) A decent rum indeed.
So that’s it. It was a fun evening and a big thanks to Everson Royce Bar for putting the event on. It was a ton of fun and they have a great location in Downtown LA. I know I’ve said it before, but if you’re a LA local go check them out.
Till the next one… cheers!