Launched just over two years ago in South Africa, Black Bottle is a blend of all the renowned single malts from Islay balanced by mainland malt and grain whiskies, making it one of the most unique whiskies around.  A regular medal winner at international competitions it has recently received gold at the prestigious 2009 International Spirits Challenge and silver at the 2010 International Wine and Spirits Competition.
The daringly bold taste of Black Bottle has been praised by critics and whisky-lovers across the world, and over the years it has secured a cult-following for its unique history and profile. 
According to South African marketing manager Brian Glass, Black Bottle is an extraordinary blend of the diverse taste profiles from Islay and there are very few, if any, whiskies that come close in terms of style.
“Most people have the perception that all Islay whiskies are heavily peated but the island produces a range of different styles. Bunnahabhain, a key component of Black Bottle, is an unpeated whisky and brings a fresh, fruity taste in contrast to the peated whiskies for which Islay is famous. This gentle whisky together with the mainland malt and grain whiskies combine exceptionally well with the heavily peated styles from the south of Islay and gives the Black Bottle blend a wonderful balance.” 
Black Bottle has a rich and golden colour, with a nose that is immediately fresh and fruity, with hints of peat. The palate is full, with a slightly honeyed sweetness, followed by a distinctive smoky flavour. The finish is long and warming, with a smoky, Islay character coming through.
Black Bottle boasts a proud and fascinating heritage, with its origins in late 19th century Aberdeen where the tea merchant Gordon Graham’s ability to blend tea soon moved to the blending of whiskies. This particular blend, which he marketed in opaque black bottles, in time became the whisky of choice of the locals of Aberdeen.
The brand’s history also abounds with other fascinating characters such as the impressive matriarch Anne Jane Graham, known as Granny Graham. Known for her strong will, she even changed her nephew’s surname to Graham to ensure that the family name would continue its association with Black Bottle.
Today, the whisky’s blending traditions are maintained by master blender Ian MacMillan, a whisky industry veteran of more than 35 years.
Black Bottle is available from leading liquor outlets and retails for about R180 per 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                         15 August 2010
FOR                            BLACK BOTTLE
QUERIES                   BRIAN GLASS, DISTELL (021) 809 7000
                                    LINDA CHRISTENSEN, DKC (021) 873 2199