$ — 40% ABV — no age stated
Reinstated in 2014 with its original and eponymous black bottle, this blended Scotch is easy to sip and cheap enough to shake. The only issue is that it's not a tad stronger.
A blend that was noted by heavy West Coast smoke, there's now a greater presence of Sherry-influenced Scotch in this blend, as there traditionally had been when the blend was first introduced in 1879. Probably the easiest comparison is as a lighter Highland Park and, through the extensive barrel-trading program in Scotland, there may well be a bit of it in this blend.
Black Bottle is made by the owners of Islay's Bunnahabhain and Mull's Tobermory, two single malts known for their balance between peat smoke and rich fruit. The new blend (or old blend, really) is somewhat obviously influenced by both of those beloved distilleries.
If a value-priced Scotch is defined not by its breadth of character, but by its lack of flaws, Black Bottle is one of the best on the shelf.