Dominic Roskrow, Whisky Advocate (Jan 2013)
If you want proof that blended malts can be world class, you’ll find it in any bottle of Blue Hanger. Lovingly created by Berry Bros. whisky maker Doug McIvor, every release has been exceptional. Even by the series’ own high standards, this sixth release surpasses itself. The nose is fresh, clean, and citrusy, with wafts of sherry. But there are smoky hints, too. And it’s that peaty, earthy note on the palate that gives this release a new dimension, enriching the fruity Speyside sweetness at the whisky’s core. The age and quality of the malt asserts itself throughout. This really is stunning stuff.
Fall 2012 issue of Whisky Advocate’s Buying Guide - Rating: 94.
About this SPIRIT
Blue Hanger Blended Scotch Whisky
Blue Hanger, a blended malt whisky (a category previously known as vatted malts) is named after William Hanger, the 3rd Lord Coleraine, a loyal customer of Berry Bros. & Rudd during the late 18th century. He was renowned for the striking blue clothes he wore and gained the soubriquet, “Blue Hanger”.
Each release of Blue Hanger is a labour of love. Our spirits buyer, Doug McIvor, noses and tastes his way through many samples to identify exceptional casks before working with them to produce the best possible results in terms of aroma, flavour and finish. Every release is unique although there is continuity in overall style to retain the rich, smooth, fruity complexity that makes this Whisky stand out from the crowd.
Doug says, “We aim very high and with each release I have learned more about the integrity of the Whisky and what each distillate and type of cask will bring to the party. There has always been a strong influence from Sherry casks but I try to rein this in to offer balance and complexity from the other casks"
The Blue Hanger 3rd Limited Release 30 year-old won Best Blended Malt in the 2008 World Whiskies Awards.
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (previously known as Vatted Malt or Pure Malt) is a blend of different single malt whiskies from several distilleries. The malts would have been skilfully selected to create an whisky of unique and idiosyncratic character. The vatting process (re-casking into a single container) allows the flavours of the individual malts to integrate (to "marry" together).
However, unlike the whiskies simply labelled as "Blends/Blended", vatted malts do not contain any grain whisky.
One of the most renowned ambassadors of the vatted malts category has been Johnnie Walker Green Label. Other examples include Poit Dhubh, Eleuthera by Compass Box (vatted from Caol Ila and Clynelish), Macphails and Berry Bros. & Rudd's pride, Blue Hanger.
Find out about other whisky styles in the dedicated pages for Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, Orkney, Skye, Mull, Jura, Arran ) Grain Whisky , Blended Whisky , Vatted Malt Whisky (aka Blended Malt).