Blended Scotch Whisky
Bells 8 Year Old
Blended Scotch Whisky
We would like nothing more that to bring to you, our eager reader, a link to the official Bells website, listed as https://www.bells.co.uk however, the page fails to open!
We would also love to bring to you some official product information about Bells 8 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, however, a thorough search of Diageo and their brands page just yields the Bells Logo, with no forward link to any other information, nothing, not even an attempt at reciting the history of Mr Bells himself.
In fact it gets worse, on the Diageo Brands Explorer page ( This one https://www.diageo.com/en/our-brands/brand-explorer/ ) there isn't even a mention of Blair Athol, the distillery home to Bells. You need to visit the Malts homepage to find out about Blair Athol - This page https://www.malts.com/en-gb/brands/blair-athol they do mention Bells, Hooray I hear you shout and for your reading delight, we quote the entry for you:
"an irreplaceable contributor to the Bell's Blend, one of the most popular blended whiskies in the UK."
Now you must be feeling better for that.
Moving on however, things don't get any better, NONE of the supermarkets who carry the Bells 8 Year Old have bothered to list the product on their website, its almost as if they are embarrased to carry the product.. So what does that mean about us, we picked up a bottle from Sainsbury's!
We would love to give you official tasting notes, alas none exist for the 8 Year Old, at least no official notes that we can find.
So sorry! Note from Teacher (Not Teacher's) "Must do better".
For this review, we have to hold our heads in shame, with red blushed cheeks admit that we picked up a bottle of Bells Blended Scotch Whisky, but no ordinary bottle, no no no! the 8 Year Old, you read that right, Bells (The Bastard Child of Diageo - See the distillery info pane to the left) have released an age statement of their much loved (Not so sure about that - Re- the distillery pane to the left) blended Scotch whisky.
OK, so it's not quite as bad as we are making out, we aren't ashamed, we redeemed Nectar points at Sainsbury's in exchange for the bottle, which retailed for £22, which is about £9 more than the standard non-age statement version of Bell's.
What else can we say about this blend of grain and malt whiskies from across Scotland. Not really a lot to be honest! The same rules apply as for the standard bottle. Approximately 35 whiskies from across the Diageo range, but in particular, Blair Athol Single Malt, of which the majority of their production (97% we believe) goes into Bells. Blair Athol is a very competent, great tasting Sherry style single malt, so this puts us in good stead for this tasting of the Bell's 8 Year Old.
Before we get into more about the bottle and its nosing/tasting, here is a link to Wikipedia to read more about the Bell's brand... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_whisky
So this the 8 Year Old, is a aged in selected Oak casks and has
'notes of Malt, Spice and Fruit with a smooth, mellow finish' From the Box.
We don't have any specifics of the types of cask used in the whiskies for the blend, other than Blair Athol which is sherried, we can assume it will be a mix of ex-bourbon, refill and re-juvinated casks, but this is an assumtion.
It is more than likely both chill filtered and coloured, so for a value score it achieves 84.25 our of 100, this fairs slighly better than most blended Scotch, simply by having an age statement.
On the nose, it's very grain heavy and sweet with it, there is a touch of sherry, but this is very dilute and not at all foward in it's presentation.
The palate is very much the same as the nose, grain heavy, sweet with it. Then a touch of sherry appears, but this is all too soon gone as its overpowered by the grain.
There is a whiff of smoke on the finish, which isn't too unpleasant and distracts slightly from the grain notes. Overall impression of this blend is that its too youthful. Youthful grain can overpower more subtle notes and if its not crafted carefully it can drown a whisky.
The Bells 8 Year Old, in summary, is a whisky made by accountants. Too much immature grain and not enough sherried whisky or indead malts in general.
We wouldn't buy another bottle of this or indeed entice us to explore other Bell's releases, Diageo's lack of product information is representation enough of why this whisky should just be ignored, if you have to buy a Bells make it the standard bottle and if you want to buy a blended Scotch from a supermarket, pick up either Chivas Regal 12, Johnnie Walker 12 or if it's available Isle of Skye Blended Scotch.
For an overall score, we consider this 77 out of 100