Thursday, June 15, 2023

Review: Bank Note 5 Year Blended Scotch

Color (5%):  For a five-year whisky, this is quite light. Light golden hay. Quite a bit of thinning on the edges. 4/5

Nose (10%): Very bready and crackery. Notes of lemon peel with grass and hay. Light caramel toffee sweetness. 7/10

Palate (20%): Sort of a root beer quality. Very thin body, no oiliness or syrupiness. Lemon, nougat, black tea, some mild nuttiness, hazelnut. Inoffensive. There is no noticeable smoke to speak of, mild oak. Low to mild burn for 43%. Not unpleasant, but not exciting. 17/20

Finish (10%): A pretty soft finish, very crackery and grainy. Lemon and black tea come through. That's an Arnold Palmer. a little bit of bitterness. Pool weather whiskey, eh? 7/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): This is boring and basic. It's not offensive, but won't make anybody's top 10. Vanilla, lemon peel, caramel, and bread. Okay, that's basically every whiskey, but with no individuality. There's nothing offensive, harsh, or intrusive, but why bother with average. Yes, it's cheap, but you deserve something with flavor. I'll give it to my houseguests I don't love, but I would only restock it occasionally. 18/30

Retry on Ice (25%): More or less the same. The bitterness comes through a bit more. Sweet bread and brioche notes. No improvement. Nothing is lost unless it gets over-diluted. 16/25

Total Ranking: 69% Legendary, AmazingGreatGood, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $17
Actual Price: $21

Conclusion: This is well whiskey in a divey bar. There's no need to have this on your shelf. It'll impress no one and satisfy some. I'd be upset if someone offered me a scotch, and I got this. Yes, that sentiment is pretentious, but scotch is supposed to be a treat. My wife drinks vodka drinks, and I primarily drink whiskies. I spend much more money than her, but I've accepted that. I want to enjoy the flavors and experience. Nuance and character are essential when drinking spirits. This is fine for $20, but when you weigh it against all the scotch you see on the average back bar, this has no place outside the well. 

Fact Sheet:
ABV: 43%
Blended and bottled for Stanley Morrison & Sons Ltd. 
40% single malts to 60% scotch grain whisky

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