Last year you couldn’t give these Bulloch Lade & Co. blends away, but auction prices for miniatures & full-sized bottles of Old Rarity are increasing steadily.
‘From small beginnings in Dumbartonshire in 1817 Bulloch Lade & Co Ltd. grew into a major producer and exporter of Scotch whisky until its voluntary bankruptcy in 1920. During its existence the company bought or built four distilleries in different regions of Scotland and developed brands of blended Scotch whisky such as Bulloch Lade (B&L) Gold Label and Roderich Dhu, as well as a vatted (blended) malt whisky based on Caol Ila malt – called Glen Ila – which was mainly exported to Italy.’
Old Rarity NAS De Luxe Bulloch Lade & Co. Ltd no abv [5cl]
- N: We’ve a far more keener sample than the 12yo [coming up], one showing fine intent with a far beefier OBE/old skool funk. This more vibrant and youthful malt shows more fruitiness but mainly on fermenting tomatoes, then cheap ‘pizza’ cheese, warm milk, shoe/furniture polish, old soft toffee, sweet salty peat, waxy plastic seals and hot rubber. A decent enough nose, typical of blends from the era.
- T: Initially sweet honey biscuits, Rusks and a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs from the dusty larder cupboard. Minutes later it’s far more bitter with more dried herbs and oily black treacle. OBE seemingly encourages a softer body though later on it demonstrates a more moderately weighted frame, and with it, a firm sustained attack. Similar heat to the 12yo albeit more spicy and gradual, but given the more robust body, it takes to water better.
- F: Dusty and oily>creamy=grassy on the turn, finishing with bitter dry coal, creamy soot, a touch of Swarfega and a lasting spicy zing.
- C: A decent if generic old skool guzzler.
Scores 82 points
Old Rarity 12yo De Luxe Bulloch Lade & Co. Ltd no abv [5cl] WB0
- N: It’s only a shade darker in colour than the previous NAS OR. With quite some dust to sweep up, let’s hope OBE<oxidisation hasn’t claimed yet another mini victim. Soon there are more positive signs of floral bouquets, sooty oily linseed varnish, the softest pampas grasses, butter biscuits, vanilla white chocolate and a little paraffin waxiness. The nose quickly disappears with exposure to air but repeatedly revives soon after the glass is covered over.
- T: More signs of tiredness but it rallies. A touch sweeter than the NAS, there’s a peppery build to a thickening mouthfeel. Water subdues the pepper a touch but flattens the whole. Swings & roundabouts.
- F: Well-rounded oily>honeyed barley juice with more dried>nutty grasses. The sustained heat is joined by a dusty, sooty/coal and creamy finish.
- C: This is a flat-ish sample, but not enough to disguise it’s potential. Projecting a little, I’m estimating around 84+ for an intact bottle.