Well look what we have here! Pure Scot is a new blended Scotch Whisky from the newly resurrected Bladnoch distillery situated in the Lowland region of Scotland. Bladnoch has experienced a roller coaster of an existence until it was brought back to life by Australian Entrepreneur David in 2015. Under it’s new owner, the distillery has finally been given the green light (and the resources) to return to its distilling ways. While production is now underway, the distillery has recently launched a new portfolio of Single Malt whiskies under the Bladnoch brand along with this Pure Scot blend.
The blend consists of malt and grain whiskies produced at both Bladnoch as well as other undisclosed distilleries scattered throughout various regions of Scotland. Being a Lowland whisky, Bladnoch is known for its soft, gentle, approachable character. Pure Scot is bottled at a relatively low 40% ABV, it’s chill-filtered and may or may not be artificially colored. In other words, it’s not the type of whisky that the enthusiast crowd would typically get excited for (myself included) but its approachability has the potential to bring new drinkers into the fold.
Pure Scot comes in a rather heavy albeit handsome bottle with hard edges that evoke a modern take on the classic Johnnie Walker design. It’s clean and fresh and rather unique if I do say so myself. Let’s get it…(continued in comments below)
On the nose, there’s an immediately sweet aroma of butterscotch and dampened wood. A hint of grain spice and peat smoke adds a bit of vivacity to what seems to be a relatively calm and mellow dram. The smoke is faint and quite frankly, may not actually be a derivative of actual peat but of the complex makeup of different types of grain and wood. There is certainly a lot going on in this glass but it’s all very calm, masked under a thin breeze. And while it may take a bit of digging to find it, there’s a subtle complexity to this one.
On the palate, a soft, gentle wave of malted barley is delivered alongside notes of wild grass and leather. There’s a nice oakiness but it’s not very tannic. In fact, with body that is thin to medium at best, it’s a very non-offensive experience. All of the flavors are in balance and nothing really seems out of place. While the aroma suggested a grain-dominant whisky, I am certainly picking up a lot of malted barley. As expected, it has a finish that most would categorize as short to medium allowing new flavors of white-fleshed fruits and vanilla to come and go if only for a moment.
To sum it all up, I find Pure Scot to be a great starting point for new Scotch whisky drinkers. For those of you just developing their palates and looking for an affordable entry point, Pure it has a lot to offer. New drinkers tend to value “smoothness” and “approachability” above most other factors. Both of those factors are present here. Let me put it this way – if you enjoy Johnnie Walker Black Label, give this one a try next. It’s high-quality, no-frills blend that can be enjoyed in a cocktail, on the rocks, or perhaps as I’m enjoying it now: straight up.
For my fellow enthusiasts out there, Pure Scot may not be for you. But then again, Bladnoch may not want it to be. They have a new portfolio of single malts for us to appreciate. It’s an introductory whisky taking aim at future enthusiasts. We all start somewhere and as far as I’m concerned, Pure Scot is not a bad place to start.