Bailie Nicol Jarvie
Have you ever looked at your Amazon order history? Mine is a comprehensive list of why I can’t be trusted with money. In addition to purchasing enough Maximuscle Protein Powder to fill Caligula’s bathhouse, over the last 6 years I’ve ordered:
- A silicone pot steamer in the shape of a melting pig
- A Gummy Bear anatomy puzzle
- A vinyl wall decal of half of Steve McQueen
- A headband with mullet hair attached to it
- A gold trophy in the shape of a penis
But, by far the most important thing I’ve ever bought on Amazon was on 12 October 2014 when I purchased 6 bottles of Bailie Nicol Jarvie for £19.95 each. We’d gone to a whisky tasting when we were told that our beloved Bailie Nicol Jarvie (BNJ as the cool kids say) was being discontinued by LVMH, which wanted to focus on its single malt brands, Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. My greatest Amazon regret is not buying 12 bottles of BNJ.
BNJ was a blend and originally made by Roderick MacDonald and Alexander Muir in 1893 in the Scottish town of Leith. They named it after a character in Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy (which is a book, not to be confused with the cocktail garnished with two maraschino cherries on a skewer). Bailie Nicol Jarvie was the magistrate who tackled a sword wielding Highland clansman in a remote pub by setting his attacker's kilt on fire. Setting a tartan alight is now, of course, part of the Ministry of Justice’s magistrate application process.
Eight single malts from the Highlands (including Glenmorangie), isle of Islay and Speyside (including Glen Moray) were blended together with grain whisky from the Girvan distillery in Ayrshire. In comparison, many blended whiskies contain between 20-40 single malts. The minimum maturation time in a cask was six years and the final BNJ whisky contained 60% single malt and 40% grain whisky. This is one of the highest single malt percentages of any blend on the market and the best value for money whisky we have ever had.
Nose: Zingy citrus cuts through a whiff of smoke rising from burning wool.
Mouth: The citrus notes cling on like a mullet full of biscuit crumbs and sticky toffee.
Throat: Delicate, maraschino cherries pierced with a toothpick, but surprisingly long-lasting and complex, like a Walter Scott novel.
3/5: This is a good whisky! God, we miss this stuff.