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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Black Bottle Scotch Whisky

Black Bottle Scotch Whisky Principle Blends


Black Bottle

Black Bottle 10 year old


Black Bottle Scotch Whisky History


James Graham a shoemaker from the crofters village of Torphins close to North east port of Aberdeen had thee sons Charles David and Gordon. On their coming of age they left the family home to find employment in Aberdeen.


At the time Aberdeen was a thriving with imports from around the world especially with from teas from Ceylon and china. The brothers quickly established themselves as Tea importers and blenders and opened the First graham offices in Union street at the heart of Aberdeen’s commercial quarter.


During this period the brothers became locally known for their blending of whisky and in 1879 they decided to launch the Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky.


In 1881 Gordon Graham & Co as they had become known left the tea blending to concentrate on the blended whisky side of the business. They moved to new offices in Market Street and shortly after built two bonded warehouses in Regent Street. Gordon Graham passed away in 1889.


Due to the outbreak of the Great War, the German made Black bottle was replaced by a green glass version. However the bottle retained and still does its unique “pot still” shape. Sales continued to grow and the company expanded premises into number 31 and 33 Market Street.


In 1919 David Graham passed away suddenly and the control of the business passed to the remaining brother Charles Innes Graham who was the salesman. Travelling from town to town-supplying Black Bottle from his car he had become known as “The Whiskyman” Charles passed away in 1926 leaving the business to his wife Ann Jane Graham who became known as “Granny Graham”


Because there was no natural male heir to the business Granny Graham persuades her nephew Graham Horne to change his name by deed pole to Graham Charles Innis Graham following the death of his mother in 1937.


In 1951 the new Market Street offices burn down and with then the original recipes, company records and historical paper work.


During 1955 Gordon Graham, the last of the Grahams to work for the company starts in the warehouse following the tradition of learning the trade from the ground up. Granny Graham passes away in 1958.


In 1959 the American corporate Shelly Industries acquired the company with management passed to the Long John Distillers arm of the company.


This subsequently became part of Whitbread & Co (1975) before being sold on to Allied Lyons along side Whitbread’s other Scottish whisky companies. In 1995 Highland Distillers acquired the Black Bottle brand.


Highland Distillers promptly invested in the brand introducing modern Islay malts and restoring the chewy, malty taste that defined the blend over 100 years previously.


1n 1998 a deluxe blend is introduced created from malts of not less than 10 years old giving a new and exciting depth to the brand.



Black Bottle Scotch Whisky Tasting notes


Colour: - Rich and golden.


Nose: - Fresh and fruity with hints of peat.


Palate: - Full with slight sweetness followed by a delightful smoky flavour


Finish: - Long and warming with an interesting, smoky , Islay character.

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