Review No.149. Bladnoch Samsara

Bladnoch is one of the few lowland distilleries currently in operation.  The distillery has changed hands a number of times, more recently in 2017.  Their whisky isn’t cheap and their core range consists of this non age statement, a 10, 15 and 25 year old.  The current range represents the style that previous owners wanted and apparently the new owners have switch to producing a more traditional lowland style exhibiting grass and floral notes.  The Samsara has been matured in a ex bourbon and californian red wine casks.  My experience of wine finished whiskies has not been great so far so I approached this with caution.


Whisky: Bladnoch Samsara Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46.7%

Nose: Candy, floral, vanilla, apricots and cinnamon

Taste: Malt, spicy cinnamon, dark chocolate, alcohol bite

Finish: Bitter dark chocolate, chilli

Score: 2.75

Summary: I was relieved to find that this was not sickly sweet like other wine finished single malts I have tried.  The nose is fairly simple with a nice mix of sweet and spice.  This doesn’t fully translate onto the palate and instead I picked up more spices and bitter chocolate and then some chilli on the finish.  This starts of gentle but then there’s a bite of alcohol and spice that overtakes towards the end.  I kind of like this combination but the alcohol bite lets it down.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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