Bladnoch launches The Dragon Series
Scotland’s oldest privately-owned whisky distillery, Bladnoch, has unveiled a collection of five single malts that celebrate the ‘natural unpredictability’ of whisky making.
The Dragon Series drew its inspiration from the dragon curve, a fractional curve in mathematics that exemplifies ‘the timeless battle’ between science and nature, predictability and chaos, and natural order and beauty.
Each iteration in the series aims to capture a ‘pivotal moment’ in the whisky-making process.
Bladnoch’s master distiller, Dr Nick Savage, commented: “The dragon curve demonstrates the science versus nature of predictability, chaos, natural order, and beauty. The building of The Dragon Series whiskies really brought this to life in the sample room.
“We have attempted to demonstrate the resultant beauty that occurs from the natural unpredictability inherent within our whisky-making process, which we endeavour to control over the decades.
“These five expressions of the Dragon Series have evolved to really capture the essence of each iteration of our process. It will be fascinating to hear everyone’s personal interpretation and appreciation for our whisky making.
“The Dragon Series also gives us great confidence and excitement upon which to build and bring to life more concepts with Bladnoch in the future”.
The five whiskies
The first iteration of The Dragon Series is called The Field, and tells the journey from field to distillery, described as the ‘origin story’ for all Bladnoch’s whiskies.
Bottled at 46.7% ABV and matured in refill Bourbon casks, tasting notes include aromas of toasted barley with floral cut grass, while the palate is said to offer apples and shortbread. The finish is described as both refreshing and sweet.
The Spirit is the second whisky in the series, and has been created to capture the first stage of distillery production: taking the malted barley from the field through to mashing, fermentation, and distillation.
It is presented at 48.3% ABV, and is said to be ‘the quintessential example of a Lowlands whisky’.
It is a blend of first-fill and refill Bourbon casks, and offers notes such as pear drops with fresh cut grass on the nose, and malted cereal with boiled sweets and a hint of cracked pepper on the palate.
The third iteration of The Dragon Series, The Casks, has been designed to showcase cask coopering.
The whisky aims to capture numerous variables in the brand’s casks, such as oak species, growth environment and the technical aspects of toasting, charring, and seasoning.
This expression is bottled at 49.9% ABV and combines the ‘richness’ of first-fill American oak Bourbon casks with the ‘complexity’ of first-fill Spanish oak Sherry casks.
On the nose, the whisky is said to give cinnamon sticks and root ginger, with a background of citrus notes.
The palate features raisins with a toffee popcorn sweetness and a hint of root ginger spice, while the finish is thick, long, and warm.
The fourth bottling of the Dragon Series, The Ageing, focuses on maturation.
To accentuate the effects experienced in ageing, such as seasonal fluctuations in temperature and humidity, warehouse type and location, and the evaporation of the ‘angel’s share’, the casks for this expression have been chosen from the darkest and coldest areas in Bladnoch’s warehousing.
Resting at 51.1% ABV, this whisky was matured in red wine hogsheads and first-fill Bourbon casks.
On the nose, the scent of polished oak and honey is said to be apparent, with an earthy undertone. The palate features a sweet oak taste with wild blackberry notes. The finish is both sweet and warm, with a gentle spiciness.
The final bottling in The Dragon Series focuses on the craftsmanship involved in whisky making in the sample room.
The Decision is bottled at 53.1% ABV, and is crafted using a blend of Hungarian Tokaji wine casks and Spanish canasta Sherry casks.
On the nose, this iteration is characterised by the scent of crushed red grapes and coffee cremes.
On the palate, the aroma is complemented by the taste of sweet and tangy apricots, with a hint of nutmeg that adds depth and complexity.
The finish is described as thick and long-lasting, with a satisfying sweetness that lingers on the tongue.
The Dragon Series will be available to buy online via Bladnoch’s website and in its visitor centre in Dumfries and Galloway. It will also be sold globally through Bladnoch’s network of distributors.
Each bottle retails at RRP £110 (US$136).
The Bladnoch Distillery opened to the public in 2019.