Black Bottle whisky relaunches historic blendBy Amy Hopkins
Black Bottle Scotch whisky has released a blend that marks a return to the brand’s 130-year-old roots.
Channeling the vintage bottle trend, Burn Stewart Distillers has unveiled a new expression of its Black Bottle Scotch brand reminiscent of its 1879 recipe and packaging.
Inspired by the original taste and look of the original Scotch created by 19th century master distillers the Graham Brothers, Black Bottle is said to have floral and oak aromas and a fruit, smoke, honey and nutmeg flavour.
“The challenge was to develop a liquid that was more in line with the original character of Black Bottle while maintaining all of the quality for which the brand is renowned,” said Burn Stewart master distiller Ian MacMillan
“I wanted to reintroduce a richness to balance the smokiness of the blend and in turn allow each component to contribute to the overall flavour.”
MacMillan added that the expression moves away from the peatiness of Islay, which became a more prominent note in Black Bottle recipes over the years, and instead channels more Speyside flavours.
He noted that “Black Bottle lost itself in Islay” and said the distillery realised there was a need for the Scotch to “return its North East roots.”
The expression is stored in a bottle inspired by the long-lost Graham’s Brothers black glass bottle dating back to 1906, which could not be used by the distillers after the outbreak of the First World War.
Black Bottle Scotch was subsequently stored in green bottles when supplies from a German manufacturer ceased.
Burn Stewart representatives also said that although single malts largely overshadow the blended Scotch whisky category, they are confident that this new release will inject new interest in the category.
Noting that the launch follows 18 months of global consumer research and design development, Marco Di Ciacca, senior brand manager for Burn Stewart, said: “This new look is in line with the growing global consumer trend for premium spirits with authentic and compelling brand stories.”
The expression, which has an abv of 40%, will launch internationally into selected export markets from October at an RRP between £17.99 and £18.49.