Tasting notes – Blends

The Bailie Nicol Jarvie


With a high percentage of Highland malt whisky Bailie Nicol Jarvie both looks and tastes like an elegant throwback to a bygone era.

Pale golden colour. The nose is slightly sweet, almost a little mash note with green fruit. The palate is quite light up front with floral notes which give way to oak, a little smoke and malt. The drying finish that has a little briny peppery sea air which develops into subtle chocolate.

Bottled at 40% abv


The following were all tasted at The Pot Still Blind Blend tasting in 2013

Snow Grouse 

The lightest of The Famous Grouse family this is served straight from the freezer, aperitif in style and so light in colour and delicate of nose you could easily believe you’d been poured a fino sherry with a kick. An aromatic blend with a viscous sweetness developing into caramel as it warmed up in the glass.

J&B Rare

The whisky that you so often find in the Mediterranean this was the first time I’d ever drunk it in Scotland. Mostly Speyside whisky based it is very light  in colour, has a caramel nose and a very smooth palate of grass, vanilla maybe even butterscotch and a fruitiness all within its complex flavour.

Grant’s 15 year old –

Green grass freshness but viscous vanilla oak flavours with liquorice coming through this blend of malt and grain whiskies is finished in first fill bourbon casks.

Black Bottle

The blend that contains whisky from all the Islay distilleries has a nose that reminded me of wet highland woodland with a palate that sings of sea salt and sweetness with a finish that is long and smoky. A delightful whisky.

Black Bull 12 year old

A whisky I’d never heard of before, bottled at 50% alcohol, this had a rich almost red colour and a fruity sweet nose, including sherbet lemons for those who can remember them. Toffee apples and lots of warming alcohol was what followed and my belief that this was ‘at least 43% alcohol’ was a little of the mark. Full bodied and warming on the finish this was a whisky that demanded long winter evenings.

The Pot Still Last Dram Bottle

How to describe this blend. Unique. Indescribable. Wonderful. A tradition. It’s hard to tell and there is no point looking in the shops. This was impossible to pick. Sweet nose, notes of corn and maybe a little dry and totally destroyed by water. This is the blend made from bottles with less than a dram remaining on the shelf. All poured in together this changes character on a daily basis and is never the same again. A great tradition in The Pot Still that I’m contemplating on my dwindling bottles on the shelf at home.

Dewar’s Signature

This wonderful sipping offering to finish the tasting served to remind that just like malt whisky, blends come in the whole range from ridiculous to sublime. This will set you back around £200 a bottle and only your tastebuds and wallet will tell you if that is worthwhile. Rich amber and full of toffee richness and honey sweetness and a little warming spice with a very long finish this defines a sipping whisky. A treat.


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