The Bank Note Blended Scotch is in that cadre of blended scotches that carry an age statement. In this case it’s 5 years, which means that every whisky (including the grain whisky) in this blend has been aged for a minimum of 5 years. Another key feature is the 40% malt and 60% grain whisky in this blend. It’s a fairly common ratio (Johnny Walker red & black use the same ratio), but some bottom shelf blends use as little as 20% malt so it’s good to see it’s on the higher side.
Put out by the NDP house A.D. Rattray it’s a mix of single malts from the Speyside and Highland regions which are then blended with “the purest” Lowland grain whisky. If I were to be flippant I’d say that it sounds like they’ve taken a bunch of whiskies whose names start with Glen and mixed them with some vodka. But I’m not being flippant right now so instead I’m going to say that they’ve done an ok job of sourcing their whisky and an ok job of blending them together which has resulted in an ok whisky.
Bank Note 5 Year Blended Scotch Review
Age: 5 years
Price: $20 (liter)
Blend: 40% Malt & 60% Grain
Blender / Bottler: A.D. Rattray
Caramel, red fruit, scotch spice, vanilla, butterscotch and sugar cookies. Not very complex and the aromas are quite light, but they work together in a way that even the thick layer of grain whisky sitting underneath these aromas doesn’t manage to completely kill it. There’s also an intriguing bit of sherry like sweetness that never fully materializes, but takes up residence as a haunting apparition.
Caramel, red fruit and spice, this time cinnamon heavy start things off again, but here on the palate it’s accompanied by a waxy bit of citrus peel. Some young malt and grain alcohol seep in and pull out some of the richness, but they don’t fully destroy what little harmony there is and that same haunting whiff of sherry sweetness from the nose drifts across the palate at random intervals.
A long, slightly cloying, dry finish of dried fruit, watery caramel, grain alcohol, overripe citrus and potpourri that fades to Aspirin. Yes like the pill. It’s like I just chewed on an Aspirin tablet and my mouth is coated in that awful flavor.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Balance? We don’t need no stinking balance. Though what it does have is a watery body and more heat than an 86 proof should have.
When I first opened the bottle I loved it. I liked it significantly less on the second and third glass and writing this now on the fourth glass (over 2 weeks of time) it’s lost a lot of the of the richness from when it was first opened and I’m a little scared of what’ll happen to it in the long run. Right now it has a darkly sweet nose with a bit of spice and some grainy funk. That same character translates to the palate which starts out ok but what little charm it has quickly fades to a long dry Aspirin finish. Not bad for parties and cocktails, but far from a daily drinker.