Old, Unusual & Rare Blended Whisky

     

This page is dedicated to old, unusual & rare blended whiskies that don't have their own pages on the site.

 
         

 

 

 

Anchor Blend

Finest Old Scotch Whisky

This is an old bottling by The Hull Brewery Co. who introduced the "Anchor Export" brand of strong beer in 1949. This is really guesswork on my part but I bellieve this bottling is from somewhere between 1949 - 1971. It's no later than 1971 as the deposit cost is pre-decimalisation.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber

Nose: Now this whisky has a true richness with lots of toffee, raisins, hints of aged oak and then, after some minutes a suggestion of marzipan.

Palate: Once again very rich, if a little watery at first with more suggestions of toffee. Perhaps even a little caramel-iness (in a good way) and then a quite amazing chocolate-y marzipan.

Finish: An almost everlasting richness concentrated on the back of the palate.

Overall Impression: Dark and rich, is this really a blend? A perfect Christmas one too. Bloody fantastic.

 

   

 

 

 

Angus McKay

Highland Pure Malt Scotch Whisky

5 years old, 40% ABV

Bottled by Burn Stewart and by appointment to H.R.H. The Prince of The Netherlands

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very pale.

Nose: Lots of biscuit-y-ness (plain, morning coffee), slightly bitter and mildly musty. Almost leafy-ish.

Palate: Much livelier than the nose, it still has that biscuit-y-ness but it's also peppery, malty and what I can only describe as solid.

Finish: Medium length with lingering pepperiness.

Overall Impression: A quite subdued nose leads into a much more characterful palate with a peppery finish. Nice for a 5y.

 

   

 

 

 

Bell's Royal Reserve

20 years old (white label)

An old bottling of Bell's 20y from the 1960's

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: Something mildly metallic here, is this due to sitting for 50-odd years in the bottle? Now I'm getting faint aromas of Alpine cheese, you know, the sweaty sock variety which I love. After some minutes suggestions of mango ice cream come to the fore, but it's all very subtle and subdued.

Palate: A very creamy mouth-feel offers some of that Alpine cheese sweaty sock-ness but the mango now appears to be more like peach on the palate. It's also almost smoky, but not quite.

Finish: Medium to long with slightly bitter peach-iness.

Overall Impression: Different from any Bell's whisky I remember whilst growing up but it's all a little subdued and could do with a little more oomph.

 

   
 

 

Bell's Royal Reserve

20 years old (black label)

An old bottling of Bell's 20y from the 1970's

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright gold

Nose: Mildly fruity with suggestions of peach and raspberry but it's all very subtle although very pleasant on the nose.

Palate: The peach-iness from the nose carries onto the palate but also brings a gentle pepperiness (black pepper) to liven things up a little. The moth-feel is very smooth.

Finish: Long and gently peppery.

Overall Impression: A mild and subtle nose livens up with gentle pepperiness on the palate along with some nice fruitiness.

 

   

 

 

 

Black & White

Special blend of

Buchanan's

Choice old Scotch Whisky 43% ABV

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright yellow gold

Nose: Mildly smoky, musty, hints of malty biscuit (malted milk?), oats. After some minutes the smokiness fades and the biscuit-y-ness increases.

Palate: This is big, mouth-coating and filling. It has an exotic summer fruitiness reminding me of something like peach, mango or papaya.

Finish: Long.

Overall Impression: Big, rich, imposing, impressive.

 

   

 

 

 

Clan More

Blended Scotch Whisky

I believe this to be from the 50's or 60's

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Extremely pale.

Nose: Very fruity with lots of suggestions of berries and hints of very aromatic hay or dried grass.

Palate: Sweet, rreally quite sweet with flavours of honey and definate maltiness.

Finish: Long and very enjoyable.

Overall Impression: As you see my notes are quite short due to this one being a little hard to decribe in full, but it's certainly full of character to the point where I'd like more of it.

 

   

 

 

 

Crown of Scotland

Blended Scotch Whisky

A brand owned by Barton Distilling Co. who also owned Littlemill and Loch Lomond distilleries. It was produced from the mid 1970's but in 1982 Barton sold Littlemill & Loch Lomond distilleries so this blend vanished.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: A very strong mustiness first hits the nose before developing into something rather farmy - think of damp musty hay in an old barn. It's rich and strong but nothing other than that musty farminess really.

Palate: What a difference from the nose; it's immediately very fruity with big suggestions of raspberry and no suggestion of the mustiness or farminess of the nose. Next comes a very faint pepperiness across the palate and then it just morphs into a very surprising grappa-iness. Definitely a white wine grappa-iness.

Finish: Long with repeating suggestions of that grappa.

Overall Impression: This tasting note is my 1315th on the website and I've never experienced a whisky quite like this with a singularly musty & farmy nose then the palate explodes into peppery fruitiness with big hits of grappa-iness. Wow, I love it; Musty farmy grappa (-iness) from Scotland. I want more, a shame it was only produced for around 6-7 years.

 

   

 

 

 

Dewars 12

Blended Scotch Whisky

I believe this to be from anywhere between the 50's to the 70's

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Brass.

Nose: Initially quite metallic, almost like a metal-workshop. Then some fruitiness coming through reminding me star fruit or possibly slightly under-ripe pears.

Palate: A creamy mouth-feel, double cream just like the Christmas treat I used to enjoy. Mildly woody, tingly with a suggestion of pepperiness. Finally some hints of butterscotch, delightful!

Finish: Long? It goes on forever with that fruity pepperiness (strawberries?)

Overall Impression: Fantastic, I adore it.

 

   

 

 

 

Gloag's Perth Whisky

Rare Old Liqueur 83 proof 26 2/3 Fl. Oz.

I know this is an early bottling but have yet been unable to date it.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Shiny bronze tinted Oak

Nose: This initially comes across as sweet as one may expect from a Whisky liqueur. Then some hints of furniture polish, perhaps butterscotch too and definitely a suggestion of creamy toffee (Werther's?).

Palate: The palate is sweet too but not sickly sweet as with some (whisky) liqueurs. It also has a lovely mild spicy tingle which after a few minutes turns into a gentle bitterness or perhaps sourness. The sweet flavour is very much similar to the nose with toffee and butterscotch suggestions.

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: A bitter - sweet symphony? Perhaps not all the orchestra are playing off the same music sheet, but it's very more-ish and very pleasant, just not a 'Great'.

 

   

 

 

 

Grand Old Parr

De Luxe Scotch Whisky, Aged 12 years, 43% abv

My thanks to malt mate Oliver Klimek for this sample.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich dark oak with a slight orange tint.

Nose: My initial thought here is of it being very warming, almost as if there's a small bonfire in the glass, but having said this it isn't at all smoky.  Yes it's very reminiscent of bonfire embers and also just a tad sulphury. There's also something mildly herbal ... cloves?

Palate: That herbal note from the nose translates directly onto the palate alongside a surprising freshness but wait a minute, is that just a hint of Alpine Cheese?

Finish: Extremely long and always right on the front of the palate.

Overall Impression: Big, rich and warming. Perfect as an after dinner malt in front of an open fire at Christmas.

 

   

 

 

 

King Edward I

"Old Blended - Specially Selected Scotch Whiskies".

Bottled in 1950's or 1960's

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Polished oak.

Nose: An initial light mustiness gives way to exotic fruitiness including banana, then turning into something very meaty akin to roast lamb with beef stock. Lovely.

Palate: Surpisingly there's nothing meaty here on the palate as it's slightly watery, musty and faintly floral.

Finish: Quite long with a velvety mouth-feel.

Overall Impression: Excellent old fashioned blend.

 

   

 

 

 

Langs Supreme

Blended Scotch Whisky

Lang Brothers (Alexander & Gavin Lang) was founded around 1861 as a rum importer, whisky merchant and blending company. They moved into distilling after purchasing Burnfoot distillery (later renamed as Glengoyne) and their blends were then based around this malt whisky.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: 21ct Gold

Nose: Very warming aromas with a gentle fruitiness reminiscent of bramble (blackberry) with a touch of raspberry.

Palate: Initially slightly watery but absolutely filled with flavours. Lots of fruitiness (bramble again) with accompanying suggestions of mild liquorice and creamy toffee.

Finish: Long, tingly and very 'alive'.

Overall Impression: Subtle nose follwed by a very lively palate. Nice.

 

   

 

 

 

Malcolm Fraser's

Extra Special Blended Scotch Whisky

Bottled in 1940's

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Cloudy dark gold.

Nose: I can only describe this whisky as solid, warming, almost meaty with a mild nuttiness - hazelnut.

Palate: A little watery at first then the nuttiness of the nose appears on the palate along with a suggestion of fruitiness in the form of summer berries, but all remaining mild and a little watery throughout.

Finish: Really quite short.

Overall Impression: Lots of promise from the nose but not really matched by the mild and watery palate.

 

   

 

 

Passport Scotch

Blended Scotch Whisky

A brand originally conceived in the 1960's by Seagram's and bottled almost exclusively for export. Seagram's is now owned by Pernod Ricard and I understand the 'home' of Passport Scotch is the Glen Keith distillery in Scotland.

 
 

I recently purchased a small collection of Passport Scotch miniature bottles, one was the typical round style of bottle, the rest were the square shape usually used by Passport. All are export bottlings and although the square ones look alike there are some differences in the character of the whiskies. Are they just from different batches, years or even decades? I don't know as there's no indication to their dates of bottling but I have thoroughly enjoyed tasting and documenting this little project.

I don't usually state my scores on individual reviews but I've chosen to do so here for comparitive pruposes.

           

   
 

Passport Scotch

Blended Scotch Whisky

Round bottle, 43 GL

   
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold with a delicate orange tint.

Nose: This initially comes across as quite musty, reminding me of old style peatiness, but not very heavily peated. There's also a slight suggestion of metal alongside leather then finally I sense a bitter or sharp fruitiness.

Palate: Totally different to the nose as the palate is extremely light and floral. Yes, it does suggest a mildly metallic fruitiness too but I find this all to be really very pleasant.

Finish: Long and gently peppery.

Overall Impression: Quite unusual as it has a musty and gently peaty nose followed by an extremely light and floral palate. This is a very pleasant whisky indeed. (84 points).

 

   
 

Passport Scotch

Blended Scotch Whisky

Square bottle #1, 43% ABV

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold but not so much of an orange tint.

Nose: Suggestions of rubberiness and after 2-3 minutes in the glass some mustiness is also detected but the rubberiness is always present in the background.

Palate: Unlike the first sample (above) this has no suggestion of floral-ness, it has hints of leather and a mild smokiness followed by a rich fruitiness reminding me of plum or damson and honey.

Finish: Extremely long.

Overall Impression: This has many attributes of a sherry cask whisky being rich-tasting with suggestions of dark fruits and even a little rubberiness. (83 points).

 

   
 

Passport Scotch

Blended Scotch Whisky

Square bottle #2, 43 GL

 

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Golden yellow

Nose: Faint leatheriness alongside a sguuestion of wet leafiness (think of a country lane in Autumn). It also has a mildly bitter fruitiness reminding me of star fruit, pear or green apple.

Palate: This is fruity, malty and peppery all at once. Is the fruitness pear or perhaps even peach?

Finish: Extremely long.

Overall Impression: Different again with the fruit and maltiness. Nice. (84 points).

 

   
 

Passport Scotch

Blended Scotch Whisky

Square bottle #3, 43 GL

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Golden yellow

Nose: Mild suggestions of fruit and wood alongside a faint peatiness or smokiness. It's all very mild and faint.

Palate: An initial (black) pepperiness is followed by a fruitiness suggestion something exotic like papaya or mango. Could it be pineapple? Not really as it has no citrus character.

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: Excellent, delightfully enjoyable and for me the best so far. (85 points).

 

   
 

Passport Scotch

Blended Scotch Whisky

Square bottle #4, 43% ABV

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Polished Oak

Nose: Initially quite fruity and woody with hints of vanilla then after a few minutes in the glass a faint musty peatiness develops.

Palate: Lots of rich fruitiness here suggesting papaya alongside a distinct earthiness. There's also a pepperiness leading into the finish.

Finish: Long, fruity and mildly peppery.

Overall Impression: This is the fruitiest of all my samples here. Nice. (84 points).

 

   

 

 

 

Sandeman Scotch Whisky

George G Sandeman & Sons Co.

Famed for their port, Sandeman also bottled whisky and used their famous caped silhouette figure in a flat Spanish hat on their whiskies during the 70's. Earlier they used the "King of Whsikies" neck label so this bottling is pre-1970.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Polished oak

Nose: There's something mildly metallic about this whisky, some vanilla too. Now I'm reminded of what I can only describe as tinny custard but it all remains quite subtle or understated.

Palate: That strange tinny-ness continues onto the palate but it's much more pronounced with a pepperiness and red apple-type of fruitiness.

Finish: Long, tingly and quite peppery.

Overall Impression: Quite metallic, understated nose but lively, peppery palate.

 

   

 

 

 

Scotch Royale

Watson & Middleton LDT (Ltd?), Glasgow. 75 Proof / 43% abv

Alleinimport AUJOUX & CIE GMBH WEIDEN

Single importer to Germany; AUJOUX & CIE

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale oak

Nose: Light and aromatic with suggestions of marzipan and a general nuttiness. I also detect the faintest hint of smokiness in the background and a distinct grain-iness.

Palate: Definitely light, aromatic and quite nutty but also quite penetrating on the palate. There's also a gentle woodiness on the palate.

Finish: Medium length and light with that woodiness lingering on.

Overall Impression: I quite like the lightness with suggestions of nuts and wood in this whisky. An honest blend from (I believe) the 1970's.

 

   

 

 

 

Silver Old Scotch Whisky

Aged in Scotland Over 5 years

Shipped by Montrose Blending Co. London & Glasgow

Imported to Germany by INTERGENA, Schermbeck.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark, very dark, amber.

Nose: Very rich, very big with suggestions of toffee and something which reminds me of banana stem. Rich, solid and quite sweet.

Palate: My initial thought here is of floral toffee but the suggestion of orange slowly appears on the palate which, with the solid richness of this whisky makes me think of Terry's dark chocolate orange.

Finish: Long and concentrated on the middle to back of the palate.

Overall Impression: Quite amazingly different with the absolute solid richness, an almost overpowering flavour. Very pleasant and another example of what I believe to be a now forgotten bottling from the 1970's.

 

   

 

 

 

VAT 69 43% ABV

Originally produced in 1882 by William Sanderson, VAT 69 gets its name from the fact that Sanderson created 100 different vattings of whisky and hired a panel of experts to decide upon the best. They chose the 69th vatting, hence the name.

I believe this bottle to be from the 1960's.

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light oak or dark golden yellow.

Nose: A very light but yet musty nose hinting at bread dough with some very faint (white) pepperiness.

Palate: Somewhat watery fruitiness comprising mainly apple & pear flavours which eventually expand to include the pepperiness of the nose.

Finish: Long with more hints of pepperiness.

Overall Impression: Interesting to revisit a whisky of my youth, but hardly spectacular.

 

   

 

 

 

White Horse

Blended Scotch Whisky

I'm assured this bottle is from 1938 thanks to the import / tax stamps

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: 21ct Gold - shiny and bright.

Nose: Immensely fruity and peaty as I sense toasted peaches glowing over the embers of an open peaty fire. The depth of peaty fruitiness is fantastic.

Palate: As with the nose I'm stunned by the peaty, peachy fruitiness giving a massive presence.

Finish: Very long, almost everlasting and extremely satisfying.

Overall Impression: An excellent nose turns into a glorious palate. Now why am I reminded of Lagavulin?

     

 

   
 

 

White Horse

Blended Scotch Whisky

A bottling from the late 50's or early 60's

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich golden

Nose: Very farmy and musty, almost akin to cardboard.

Palate: Unlike the reserved musty nose the palate is immediately alive and tingly with suggestions of black pepperiness, but it's really quite dry and almost, but not quite, metallic. But all in a good way.

Finish: Long and very peppery on the front of the tongue.

Overall Impression: Lovely palate, shame about the nose although it's an interesting one to compare to the very different 1938 version above. I'll take the '38 every time thank you.

 

   
   

A selection of three White Horse Miniature bottles

During 2019 / 2020 I purchased various small collections of older blended whisky bottlings, three of these were White Horse, one a round bottle, the other two square-shaped. Here's my review of them but sadly I don't know exactly when these were bottled.

   
 

 

 

 
   

White Horse

Blended Scotch Whisky 43 GL

Date of bottling unknown

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Oak

Nose: Lots of smoky, malty, fruity and biscuit-y aromas giving this a delightfully complex nose. The smokiness is ever-present but not overpowering, just mildly and gently present.

Palate: Firstly a lovely smooth and creamy mouth-feel followed by a smoky pepperiness. The fruitiness of the nose is also present and reminds me also of a woodiness, perhaps banana stem?

Finish: Long and peppery.

Overall Impression: Lovely and very enjoyable blend.

 

   
   

White Horse

Blended Scotch Whisky 43% ABV

Date of bottling unknown

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich, dark yellow gold.

Nose: A combination of smokiness and hints of vanilla alongside what I can only describe as plain biscuit-y-ness, think of English morning coffee biscuits. Overall this nose is distinct and 'clean' as opposed to musty.

Palate: This has a big, creamy mouth-feel, luxurious even. There are suggestions of smoke andvanilla (custard) in a big or grand way. No this isn't so complex but it's big, bold and solid.

Finish: Medium to long.

Overall Impression: Simple but big, powerful and rather lovely.

 

   
   

White Horse

Blended Scotch Whisky 43% ABV

Date of bottling unknown

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich, dark yellow gold.

Nose & Palate: I'm summarising here because this looks to be the same bottling as my previous review and yes, the nose & palate are really very similar albeit this bottling offers a little more smokiness.

Finish: Long, definitely longer than my previous review and perhaps due to this one being a little more smoky?

Overall Impression: Another delightful blend.

 

   

 

 

 

 

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