Black Bottle, the only whisky that contains all the renowned single malts from Islay, has been awarded gold at the prestigious 2009 International Spirits Challenge held in London recently.
Judged by experts from 12 countries across the globe, the entries are tasted blind and reviewed by some of the best palates in the world.
A firm favourite in Scotland, Black Bottle celebrates its 130th anniversary this year.
Black Bottle was launched less than two years ago in South Africa and has already carved a niche for itself amongst local whisky connoisseurs, who savour its distinctively full-bodied, smoky character, says spokesperson, Brian Glass.
“Black Bottle is a true reflection of the diversity of Islay, and is a blend of all the whiskies produced across this famous island in the Southern Hebrides. The expert craft of combining only the finest single malts from Islay with mainland malt and grain whiskies has resulted in one of the smoothest, most balanced Scotch whiskies that has developed an international cult following.
“It’s the skilfully crafted bold and smoky flavours that set Black Bottle apart.”
Islay, lying off the west coast of Scotland, is known the world over for its distinctive and award-winning whiskies. These whiskies are largely influenced by the fertile soils, extensive peat bogs, soft, peaty water and sea breezes, unique to this island, that combine to produce highly expressive malt whiskies. The distilleries in the south of the island – Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig – produce the most peaty and medicinal flavoured whiskies in Scotland whilst those along the west coast –Bowmore, Bruichladdich – and in the north east Caol Ila – have a lighter profile. The distillery on the furthest north-eastern tip of the island, Bunnahabhain, produces the gentlest of tastes with a relatively light peat character.
Black Bottle was developed in 1879 for his personal use by Gordon Graham, a tea merchant from Aberdeenshire. His self-styled creation proved so popular amongst his friends and customers that he gave up the tea business to focus exclusively on whisky.
Today, the whisky’s recipe traditions are maintained by master blender Ian MacMillan, a whisky industry veteran of more than 30 years.
The whisky takes its name from its early packaging. Initially sold in ceramic bottles, it later appeared in a black bottle, shaped to resemble a potstill. However, a glass shortage in 1914 brought on by World War I forced the company to look for another glass supplier, and ever since then the blend has been packaged in its distinctive trademark dark green bottle.
It retails for about R180 a 750ml bottle.
Notes to the editor
Black Bottle belongs to the portfolio of Burn Stewart Distillers, an integrated Scotch whisky producer and brand owner with a portfolio of leading brands, including Bunnahabhain. Burn Stewart is owned by CL WorldBrands, the UK-based global drinks group with distribution networks in Europe, the US and the Far East. Distell is in a joint venture with the company that also involves distributing a selection of its whiskies in sub-Saharan Africa.
DATE 28 July 2009
ISSUED BY DKC (DE KOCK COMMUNICATIONS)
FOR BUNNAHABHAIN SINGLE MALT
QUERIES BRIAN GLASS, DISTELL (021) 809 7000
LINDA CHRISTENSEN, DKC (021) 4222690