Named after the original black glass bottle that became synonymous with the brand, Black Bottle is a brand of blended Scotch whisky that was first introduced in 1879 in the city of Aberdeen.
The brand is a part of the Burn Stewart Distillers after undergoing a number of changes in ownership over the years, and also underwent a change of character with Islay made whiskies becoming more prominent in the blend. The Black Bottle brand also ended up trading their iconic black bottle for a green one for many years before returning to their roots in 2013.
Established in the city of Aberdeen by the three Graham brothers, Charles, David and Gordon Graham in 1879, Black Bottle was a blended Scotch whisky with a heavy Speyside influence.
It was synonymous with loyal drinkers for its uniquely opaque black bottle. Over the years, the company passed onto the hands of one Graham brother to the next until 1959 when the Black Bottle brand was acquired by other investors.
Between this period, the iconic black bottle had to be replaced with a regular green bottle due to the First World War. The black bottle was imported from Germany, and the war prevented the possibility of trade between the warring nations.
Robbed of its unique characteristic, the Black Bottle brand suffered further due to the change in ownership which led to a change in the blend’s composition.
Surviving, and being acquired by a couple of other companies such as the Allied Distillers in 1990, and Highland Distilleries in 1995, Black Bottle underwent some more changes to their blend, now shifting towards a more prominent Islay character.
Fast forward to recent times, Black Bottle was acquired by Burn Stewart Distilleries who decided it was time to return the brand to its roots. They reintroduced the typical Speyside influence into the blend, cutting down on the Islay whiskies in the blend. Most importantly, Black Bottle was once again packaged within the iconic bottle that gave the brand its name.
While the Black Bottle brand had undergone a change from its earlier days, Black Bottle’s return to its roots has been highly appreciated in the Scotch whisky world by drinkers familiar with its earlier years.
Master Blender at Burn Stewart, Ian Macmillan expressed the need to go back to a balance between the Islay peatiness that had become associated with Black Bottle for the past few years, and the original Graham Brothers’ formulation that relied on Speyside whiskies.
A blended Scotch whisky, it carries no-age-statement although other information such as the nature of the finishing barrels used to mature the blended spirit, and other details are unavailable.
Black Bottle carries an alcohol strength of 40% ABV, the standard limit for Scotch whiskies.
Liquid Gold award from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in 2018.
Master award at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Blended: Standard category in 2013.
Gold at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Blended: No Age Statement category in 2018.
Gold at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Blended: Standard category in 2015.
Silver at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Scotch Whisky: Blended category in 2017. https://thewhiskypedia.com/sites/default/files/products/black-bottle-scotch-whisky.png
30th December 2016http://www.blackbottle.com/blackbottle.php#heritage
Fresh, with aromas of fruity spiciness and a touch of smoke.
Smooth, evident Speyside accent with fruity sweetness and honey, with traces of light peaty flavors.
Lingering, soft with a spicy aftertaste.