Jun 20, 2017

Blend Project #25 Black & White (1970?-1972)...

Black & White (1970?-1972) (43.4%): By now everybody knows about my weakness for good cheap whiskies, especially for good cheap blended Scotches. I even have an ongoing series of reviews here on tire-bouchon called Blend Project and I constantly try new ones looking for the Holy Grail of blended Scotch whiskies under $30. It's been a fun and extremely educational journey since I started with it almost four years ago... Although I have a few different friends sending me samples from time to time the folks from The Malt Impostor have been true sponsors of this project supplying some of the best samples till now. But this time they knocked the ball out of the park... Somehow they managed to dig three dusty bottles from their family liquor cabinets and sent them all the way from East Coast to West Coast. Respect... Simply unbelievable...

The first bottle of the trio I am cracking open is a Black & White. Looking at the details on the red US tax stamp on the bottle we can tell that this bottle potentially could be imported to US anytime between 1945 and 1972. But if we pay attention to the bottle design I think it is safe to say that it is from the latest possible time in that period, probably early 70s. Black & White was a blend created by James Buchanan and owned by Buchanan & Co. in late 1890s. It now belongs to Diageo and is still pretty popular in France and South America.

Color: Light amber with persistent legs around the glass.

Nose: Dust, chalk and lemon twist. Woolen blanket, lime juice and white peaches. Unlit charcoal and burnt toast. Is it peat..? I definitely get some campfire here... Burnt lemon, caramelized sugar and vintage book shop. It has a dirty and old school nose, liking it...

Palate: Nice and solid texture. Yellow grapefruits and tea biscuits. I was right, distant, very subtle but pretty noticeable peat. Toasted sourdough bread, dry earth and salted butter. Pear compote and red delicious apples. Some faint wet cardboard notes building up in the background as the early signs of oxidization but they are very easy to ignore...

Finish: Long with white peppercorns, toast and soot.

Overall: This is a remarkably satisfying blend... If the current Black & White bottlings were at this caliber I would be hooked. Maybe I should revisit a current bottling and check it out again but there is no way they can be this good. The whisky tastes like containing a higher malt content and older grain whiskies like all other budget blends I tasted before from 1960s and 70s. Very solid whisky in its price category. Perfect beginning, Passport Scotch from late 1970s will be the next one to taste... I would like to give a huge shout-out again here to the people behind the Groucho glasses: Thank you The Malt Impostor..!

Price: N/A but current releases are $40 for 1.75L bottle