If there is a single name that resounds as the best luxury whisky in the world, it is Black Bull 40 YO. This high malt blend has made its mark as one of the rarest whiskies in the marketplace. Duncan Taylor, its parent company, has released several whiskies over the years. These include 10 YO, 12 YO, and 21 YO blends. But the heavily aged 40 YO Black Bull is hailed as one of the best in the range, winning several accolades.
The original idea was to create a high malt blend at 100 proof strength. Though Black Bull 40 YO doesn't hit the mark, it is still one of the stronger whiskies in the market, at 47.6% ABV. The blend takes pride in being completely natural, as it is made without any chill-filtration and is bottled right at cask strength.
Even though the age statement is ‘40 YO’, the blend contains whiskies that are aged from 40 to 51 years. The bottle stands true to the original concept of high malts, with 86% of it containing single malt whisky sourced from various distilleries. These single malts notably contain Macallan 1969, Aberlour 1975 and The Glenlivet 1968, among others. The other 14% is made of single grain whiskiess from Caledonian, Dumbarton and other distilleries. Black Bull 40 YO also contains whiskies from both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, with a ratio of 80 to 20.
Duncan Taylor Black Bull 40 YO Tasting Notes
If you taste a sip of the Black Bull 40 YO, you will fall in love with the variety of flavour notes on the palate. For starters, it has a rich, full-bodied character with some sweet notes. The colour is a deep copper, and you can recognize the complexity of the profile right from the nose up to the finish.
Like many old whiskies, the best part of Black Bull 40 YO is its nose. It has an earthy, oaky feeling, with a note of pine nuts. Tasters define it as a mature, silky profile with all kinds of fruity flavours. Ranging from peaches and toffee apples to even honey and melons, the beautiful aroma highlights the blend of various malt spirits.
The palate starts off woody, with a notable taste from the oak casks. A hint of spice, fruit, and chocolate provide a perfect balance to the earthy start. The finish is long and syrupy with soft oaky notes. Most tasters associate the taste with nostalgia, remembering old leather books and candles. Even with a premium price tag, the flavour of Black Bull 40 YO is worth every penny.
But Black Bull 40 YO is not just loved for the taste but also its rarity. The first batch of this premium blend was released in November 2009, with limited quantity. The brand has released six more batches, with the latest one being in 2016. With only 1500 bottles available of the limited batch 7, any whisky-lover would be proud to own one!
Even though the whisky is used in cocktails, the 40 YO is best enjoyed neat. Pair it with some dark chocolate pie, and you are all set for an evening of reminiscence.