Bottling The Essence Of Bladnoch
How an Australian revived the fortunes of this storied Scottish distillery.
Bladnoch Distillery sits in a small, twinkling rural Scottish hamlet, adjacent to the waters of the River Bladnoch that’s fed by the nearby Loch Maberry.
It’s a postcard southern setting and one that holds tight fabled stories of the past 200 years – tales that speak of rich history and complex drops; yarns that also divulge the difficulties of recent times.
It was in July 2015 that Australian entrepreneur David Prior came knocking – a few years after Bladnoch had passed through several hands before eventually being forced to halt production.
“I had only ever been a Scotch Whisky drinker – I love the history and romance and provenance of Scotch,” says Prior. “So, when I was looking for a distillery, I ended up being the lucky inquirer of such a storied estate.”
Setting to work in restoring the distillery and further elevating what it was once known for, Prior targeted the label’s recent bicentennial as the ultimate opportunity to speak loudly of revival and indulge in celebration – delivering a 29-year-old Bladnoch Single Malt, the rarest in the distillery’s history.
With only two barrels found in its stores, the fabled liquid spent the majority of its years in Oloroso sherry casks, from which it scores its enviably deep hues, before being married together and finished in a Moscatel cask to drive levels of sweetness and vibrancy, notes that develop across aged oak and through vanilla to ginger and sherry and beyond to honeyed spice.
“With the rarity of that liquid and the 200-year celebration, we’re really lucky to be able to have the stock levels and stores to celebrate,” adds Prior. “The Bicentennial Release is truly stunning and to us signified the rebirth of Bladnoch.”
The celebratory tipple comes bottled in a commemorative case, gold plated and engraved with the unique story of the distillery.
With only 200 bottles made, marking the 200 years since Bladnoch’s inception, this is a truly coveted and exclusive drop – a centrepiece to an updated story that now proudly boasts a certain Australian sensibility to its impressive Scottish roots.
Bladnoch Bicentennial Release 29 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is available now, $8,800 per bottle; bladnoch.com