The new Black Bottle marks a return to the original Scotch that brothers Charles Innes, Gordon and David Graham created in Torphins, west of Aberdeen, in the late 19th century.
Burn Stewart master distiller Ian MacMillan was charged with creating a whisky that would be more in keeping with the original north-east Scotland recipe. The whisky changed ownership in the 20th century and added more Islay malts.
Maintaining the ABV at 40%, the result is a rich and slightly smoky taste that maintains the distinctiveness of Black Bottle but adds another layer of depth to the liquid.
Ian said: “The challenge was to develop a liquid that was more in line with the original character of Black Bottle while maintaining all of the quality for which the brand is renowned.
“I wanted to reintroduce a richness to balance the smokiness of the blend and in turn allow each component to contribute to the overall flavour.
“This whisky will appeal to the experienced blended drinker who enjoys drinking Scotch neat as well as those exploring whiskies for the first time and who prefer to add a mixer.
“Restoring the blend to its former glory has been a rewarding and nostalgic experience as it has given me the opportunity to revisit the original identity of Black Bottle.”
It followed 18 months of extensive global consumer research and design development by Burn Stewart which acquired the brand in 2003 and currently exports it to over 30 countries.
Burn Stewart will launch Black Bottle in new packaging, re-introducing the distinctive black glass bottle which was the original inspiration behind the name of the brand.
This iconic bottle was used by the Graham brothers up until the outbreak of the First World War when supplies from the German manufacturer ceased and they were forced to revert to a standard green glass bottle which has remained until the present day.
“It was thought that no examples of this once-famous black glass bottle survived,” said Marco Di Ciacca, senior brand manager for Burn Stewart. “However, after months of searching, we managed to find a bottle dating back to 1906, which then became the inspiration for our new design.
“This new look is in line with the growing global consumer trend for premium spirits with authentic and compelling brand stories.”