Bailie Nicol Jarvie Whisky
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  • However, too much of their strong taste would have completely altered the taste of BNJ, so it is only a small admixture, perhaps of one of the lighter Islay malts
  • The lightness of the Highland/Speyside malts gives it a ‘nose’ and a taste which has been compared to lemons
  • I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that
  • This whisky has good ‘length’ in that the taste lingers after you have savoured and swallowed it

    • by Anglecynn
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      Many Scotch whiskies have associations with historical characters. Grant’s is a case in point. Others celebrate the land itself with names that echo the unusual names in this small nation: Laphroaig, for instance, or Jura, an island to the west of the mainland of Scotland. The whisky I am going to mention here is one of the little gems that Scots tend to keep to themselves, so don’t say I told you !

      One of Scotland’s most famous writers was Sir Walter Scott. Scott created the historical novel and such famous characters as Ivanhoe. He was a giant of literature at about the same time as Robert Burns, whose poetry is known the world over; some say more than Shakespeare. After all, we all sing, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at New Year. We don’t sing the words of the English bard. Now, Sir Walter Scott also created another character called Bailie Nicol Jarvie. A Bailie is a sort of legal officer


      in Scotland and this particular individual was a fairly notable character. In deference to that, a very special blend has been named after him.

      The brand, ‘Bailie Nicol Jarvie’ is a pale whisky, known by its devotees as ‘BNJ’. It looks as if it is a Highland whisky by its colour. That would be an astute guess, because a fair proportion of the (very high) malt content that goes into this whisky comes from the Highland area around the river Spey. The Spey is a famous fishing river (salmon in particular) and it flows into the Moray Firth. In fact, although it is called ‘Highland’ it is low-lying, very fertile land, but it is full of very fine distilleries! This excellent distillation is largely from here.

      The other location from which BNJ claims its origins is the island of Islay (pronounced ‘Isle – a’ to rhyme with the last vowel in Hiawatha). This island is home to some of the most prestigious ...


      • distilleries in Scotland, which produce very powerful, peaty, smoky whiskies. They are utterly distinctive. However, too much of their strong taste would have completely altered the taste of BNJ, so it is only a small admixture, perhaps of one of the lighter Islay malts.

        The overall effect on the flavour of BNJ is to make it quite simply more like a Highland malt than a blend. This is, to my mind, the ultimate compliment. There are other blends which have this characteristic and I will be writing about them too. However, this particular blend is quite a flowery one. The lightness of the Highland/Speyside malts gives it a ‘nose’ and a taste which has been compared to lemons. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that. There is no acidity to it and no sourness either. In fact, it is a whisky which has a sweetness which is not sugary sweetness, but that of a light, French white wine, or,

        perhaps a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The lightness is unusual for a spirit, but that is typical of whiskies from that part of Scotland, because they all differ so markedly. This whisky has good ‘length’ in that the taste lingers after you have savoured and swallowed it. This is the mark of a fine whisky, usually a single malt (not to be confused with a blended malt from more than one distillery).

        BNJ is, in short, a whisky which is ideal with a touch of spring water; ice if it really is a hot day, but it would be spoiled by anything stronger. It is a blend to be savoured at length and not swallowed like gin and tonic. It isn’t a lady’s drink either – by which I mean that ladies will like it, of course – however, it is very much a man’s drink as well. It is, however, a drink with refinement and class; not to be treated as just another whisky.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 2727061160001130/k2311a0627/6.27.10
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