Friday, December 30, 2011

Bell's - the UK's favourite whisky

A visit to see my grandfather enabled me to kick off my personal Dramcember with a taste of Bell's. This is a whisky that I remember from my childhood as my father would often have a bottle on the go and I'd occasionally sneak a nip from his glass.

Whisky was quite a shock to an eight year old and Bell's is probably the reason for my "I don't like whisky" mantra. I was keen to see how age had changed my view.

From the Diageo stable of brands it is promoted as the UK's favourite whisky in terms of volume sales. To prepare expectations it is also one of the cheapest branded whiskies available at £13 ($20) for a 70cl bottle.

Bell's Blended Scotch Whisky
Distiller: Blair Athol
Region: Blend
ABV: 40%

Unusually (?) for a blended whisky they openly advertise the constituents: Caol Ila from Islay, Glenkinchie from the Lowlands, Dufftown from Speyside, Inchgower also from Speyside and Blair Athol from the Highlands. Being the home distillery I suspect Blair Athol makes up the majority of the blend.

Colour: Amber, darker than your average whisky. I suspect it is coloured.

Nose: Smooth, hints of spice, rich, buttery (?)

Pallate: Spice on front of tounge, richness, no distinguishing characteristics. A slight harshness.

Finish: Medium / long finish, slight oily coating on the tounge, lingering spice.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the dram of Bell's that I had. Far better than my memories and for the price an easy drinking whisky. It doesn't challenge and the slight harshness prevents it from being a favourite.

The Converted