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Black Bottle could boost interest in blended Scotch

Burn Stewart Distillers has announced its confidence that the recently re-launched Black Bottle Blended Scotch will spark new interest in the “dull” blended whisky category.

Black Bottle Blended Scotch
Burn Stewart Distillers aims to spark new interest in the overshadowed blended Scotch category

The distillers, which bought Black Bottle in 2003, will be targeting a younger market with its new release that channels the brand’s 19th century recipe and packaging.

For master blender, Ian MacMillan, Black Bottle has the ability to appeal to the Scotch connoisseur as well as the novice drinker, whose palate is not yet accustomed to single malt flavours.

“The whisky will appeal to the experienced blended drinker who enjoys drinking Scotch neat, as well as those exploring whiskies for the first time and who prefer to add a mixer,” he said.

“Black Bottle explores another area of the blended Scotch category and, internationally, we really see a fantastic opportunity to inject new interest in the category.”

MacMillan added that in the Scotch category, single malts take precedence and the “art of blending does not get enough acknowledgement”.

However, he also stressed that the blended Scotch category was “pretty dull” and that the re-launched Black Bottle blend had the potential to “shake things up”.

Burn Stewart has said that in re-releasing the original blend, which moves away from the peatiness of Islay and looks forwards a stronger Speyside influence, it was hoped Black Bottle would “become less one dimensional”.

“Sometimes you need to look back to understand how to move forward, which is what we have done with this release,” added MacMillan.

“This whisky is inspired by the past, but also looks to the future. I believe what we have created could go a long, long way.”

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.

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