Monday, December 01, 2008

Malt Mission 2008 #321

Black and White
Blended Scotch Whisky
40% abv

$24 (USD)
$27.95 (CAD)

Been a while since Dr. Whisky has had a blended whisky week here on the mission, so let's start one now. Absurd that I keep measuring in weeks of five malt missions considering I have rarely posted more than twice per week since June 2008. Whatever. The formula works.

In the mid 1880s, James Buchanan started a London blending business selling whisky in distinctive black bottles with white labels. The official name was The Buchanan Blend of Fine Old Scotch Whiskies and was eventually popularised by the name his customers had given it, Black & White. The brand name Black & White was registered in 1905 and the famous coupling of a white west highland terrier and black Scottish terrier began being used to advertise the product.
Over the next decade the blend found its way into homes, bars, clubs, and theatres and became the exclusive supplier to the House of Commons.

Buchanan built Glentauchers distillery (with W.P. Lowrie) to ensure a supply of good malt for the blend. Dalwhinnie has traditionally been a constituent part over the years as well and Buchanan at oen time owned now closed distilleries Convalmore and Port Ellen. The brand joined with Dewars before joining with John Walker and Sons and then Distillers Company Limited (DCL), a partnership known at the time as "The Big Amalgamation."

Today, Black and White still sells well in mainly export markets (although it was recently reintroduced to the UK market) and is affectionately remembered for its clever adverts and marketing items, most of which are highly treasured by collectors. The LCBO website indicates "PRODUCT DISCONTINUED". With this old reliable blend gone from LCBO shelves, I wonder what Companion of the Quaich-er Michael Riley will put in its place? So much for CanCon, too... James Buchanan was born in Ontario in 1849.


Soft and vanilla-ed like ice cream, the kind where "cream" actually appears in the ingredients. Unripe kiwis, light citrus, and a little celery salt.

Immediately sweet, and slightly smoky, salty even, then a bit souring, some pepper and oak.


Definitive standard blend. Predominantly sweet without much else to compete. Balanced, simple, and generally innoffensive.

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