Bladnoch, Scotland's oldest operational whisky distillery, has introduced The Samhla Collection, a family of exceptionally rare single malt whiskies that encapsulate three generations of Bladnoch's history. The name "Samhla," derived from Scots Gaelic meaning 'symbol' or 'likeness,' pays tribute to the authentic human relationships that have shaped Bladnoch's legacy.
The Samhla Collection comprises three vintages: The McClelland, distilled in 1966 with only 15 bottles available; The Prior, distilled in 1990 with a limited release of 50 bottles; and The Sage, distilled in 2008 with a production limited to 100 bottles. These expressions represent Bladnoch's rich heritage, with each vintage embodying a unique chapter of the distillery's story.
Bladnoch Distillery, revitalized by David Prior in 2015, has a remarkable history spanning over two centuries. The Samhla Collection serves as a tribute to preserving this legacy and symbolizes the endurance of tradition and excellence over time.
David Prior expressed his profound honor in preserving Bladnoch's heritage, stating, "To preserve and nurture Bladnoch's heritage is a profound honor, and it symbolizes the preservation of a legacy that has weathered the test of time." He also emphasized the collection's significance in continuing Bladnoch's journey of tradition, innovation, and excellence for future generations.
This exceptional whisky, distilled on July 14, 1966, represents our heritage and pays homage to our origins. It is the oldest release ever produced by Bladnoch, offering a glimpse into a bygone era and allowing us to reflect on our remarkable history.
With a delicate yet complex profile, this whisky has undergone maturation in an American Oak cask. Its overall character evokes a vivid image of the McClelland brothers, John and Thomas, strolling along the distillery's lade, reminiscent of all those who have preceded us since the establishment of Bladnoch in 1817.
The nose reveals a gentle and delicate bouquet, characterized by fresh green apples, herbal notes of freshly cut grass, and enchanting forest aromas.
On the palate, the whisky delights with the flavors of zesty orange peel, accompanied by notes of chocolate and subtle hints of mint leaves and polished oak.
The finish is sweet, with a subtle touch of white pepper, leading to a long and dry mouthfeel that lingers on the palate.
The 1990 vintage, representing our present, originates from a remarkable Spanish Oak cask known as a Pedro Ximénez Butt. Distilled in 1990, this particular year holds great significance as it marks the beginning of David Prior's entrepreneurial journey, ultimately leading him to become the owner of our esteemed Scotch distillery.
In 2015, David Prior took the helm with a clear vision to restore the distillery and revive it as the vibrant heart of the local community. Through his unwavering dedication and leadership, we have overcome challenges and built the thriving establishment we witness today.
The whisky entices with a rich aroma, characterized by the presence of liquorice sticks, dried apricots, and dark dates.
On the palate, the whisky reveals a luscious combination of flavors, including dark dates intertwined with notes of almonds and subtle cloves.
The finish is long and satisfying, with a luxuriously viscous texture and a gentle hint of pepperiness that adds an intriguing touch to the overall experience.
This whisky, representing our future, is the result of drawing from two exceptional American Oak Red Wine Hogsheads that were distilled in 2008—a significant year as it coincides with the birth of David Prior's daughter, Sage. As we craft our whiskies, we have the future in mind, striving to ensure their sustainability for decades to come.
In our warehouses, we carefully lay down innovative casks of the utmost quality, envisioning a time when we can present the next generation with a "treasure chest" of whisky. Though we cannot predict the world they will inherit many years from now, our goal is to equip them with everything they will need to embark on their own successful journey.
The whisky delights the senses with a bouquet featuring floral herbs intertwined with chocolate-coated dark cherries, subtle hints of cinnamon sticks, and a touch of honey.
On the palate, the whisky unveils flavors of black cherries accompanied by luscious strawberry jam and a delicate touch of cracked black pepper.
The finish is fruity, leaving a pleasant warmth of black pepper that lingers on the palate, providing a satisfying conclusion to the tasting experience.
David Prior highlighted the growing appreciation for rare whiskies in recent years, with their value as both liquid assets and cultural artifacts. The Samhla Collection represents the essence of craftsmanship, history, and exclusivity sought after by discerning investors.
Bladnoch also recently launched The Dragon Series, a collection of five single malts that celebrates the natural unpredictability of whisky making.
Bladnoch is a renowned scotch whisky distillery located in Wigtownshire, Scotland in the lowland region. It holds the distinction of being the oldest operational distillery in the country, with a history that dates back over 200 years. The distillery is situated on the banks of the River Bladnoch, near the village of Wigtown, and is surrounded by picturesque scenery.
Bladnoch has a rich and storied past. It was officially established in 1817 by brothers John and Thomas McClelland, and it quickly gained a reputation for producing exceptional single malt whiskies. Throughout its history, Bladnoch has faced various challenges, including changes in ownership and periods of closure. However, in 2015, the distillery was revived and brought back to life by Australian entrepreneur David Prior.
Under Prior's ownership, Bladnoch underwent extensive renovations and upgrades, blending traditional methods with modern innovations. The distillery focuses on producing premium single malt whiskies using locally sourced ingredients and traditional production techniques. Bladnoch takes pride in its craftsmanship, attention to detail, and commitment to quality.
Bladnoch whiskies are known for their distinct character and flavor profiles. The whiskies often exhibit a delicate and complex nature, with a balance of fruity, floral, and sometimes slightly peaty notes. The distillery's offerings include a range of expressions, from smooth and approachable releases to limited-edition and rare bottlings.
Bladnoch's core range of whiskies includes a selection of expressions that showcase the distillery's distinct character and flavor profiles. Here are some examples of Bladnoch's core range:
- Bladnoch 11 Year Old: This expression is aged for 11 years, allowing the whisky to develop a distinct character over time. It presents a balance of flavors, with notes of citrus, vanilla, honey, and a touch of spice.
- Bladnoch 14 Year Old: The 14 Year Old expression showcases the whisky's maturation and complexity after being aged for an extended period. It offers a rich and nuanced profile, with flavors of orchard fruits, toffee, dark chocolate, and hints of oak.
- Bladnoch 19 Year Old: The 19 Year Old expression represents a whisky that has undergone a long maturation process, resulting in a deep and sophisticated flavor profile. It may feature notes of dried fruits, caramel, baking spices, and a subtle influence of oak.
- Bladnoch Samsara: This expression is known for its smooth and well-balanced profile. It features a combination of bourbon and sherry cask maturation, resulting in notes of citrus, vanilla, and gentle spices.
- Bladnoch Talia: Talia is a well-rounded whisky that has been matured in bourbon casks and finished in new oak casks. It exhibits flavors of honey, vanilla, orchard fruits, and a subtle hint of spice.
- Bladnoch Vinaya: Vinaya is a harmonious blend of Bladnoch's single malts, combining a variety of cask types. It delivers a balanced and approachable profile with notes of creamy toffee, orchard fruits, and a gentle spice.
These expressions represent a selection from Bladnoch's core range, offering whisky enthusiasts a range of flavors and styles to explore, each showcasing the craftsmanship and quality associated with the distillery. It's worth noting that Bladnoch may introduce new expressions or limited editions from time to time, adding to the diversity of their offerings.
In addition to its whiskies, Bladnoch is also recognized for its commitment to sustainability. The distillery employs environmentally friendly practices and strives to minimize its ecological footprint. Bladnoch prioritizes responsible sourcing, energy efficiency, and waste reduction, aligning with the growing demand for environmentally conscious production methods in the whisky industry.
Bladnoch welcomes visitors to experience its distillery and learn about the whisky-making process firsthand. Guided tours offer insights into the history, production, and maturation of Bladnoch whiskies, allowing guests to appreciate the craftsmanship and heritage behind each bottle.
Overall, Bladnoch stands as a cherished distillery in the whisky world, with a rich legacy, dedication to quality, and commitment to both tradition and innovation.