Whisky Focus - Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend

Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend

27th June 2013
Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend a real taste of history inspired by a 1920's find.

Hankey Bannister Blended Scotch Whisky has taken a step back in time with their latest limited edition expression. The Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend has been inspired by a perfectly preserved bottle of Hankey Bannister from the 1920s which was unearthed last year in the UK. 

Back in the 1920's Hankey Bannister was a whisky of choice for celebrities but the current Hankey Bannister team had no archived whisky from this golden era – well that was until last year when a rare 1920's bottle was discovered by North Yorkshire couple Mr and Mrs Bell whilst they were clearing out Mrs Bell’s late uncle’s belongings in the hotel where he lived in Southport. Mrs Bell’s uncle was given the bottle by his Masonic friends to celebrate his 80th birthday in 1980. A keen whisky drinker, he kept it in tact until he passed away in 1986.

The bottle was an extremely rare ‘Hankey Bannister Fine Old Liqueur Scotch Whisky’ and upon its discovery, the Bells contacted the Hankey Bannister brand team who advised them to have it professionally valued. McTears auction house valued the bottle at £200 and Hankey Bannister purchased the bottle for the full asking price and added it to their archive. Clues from the glass and paper label production revealed that it had been bottled sometime between 1924 and 1928.

Hankey Bannister intended to simply add the rare bottle to their brand archive, however the antique liquid turned out to have its seal intact and to be in perfect condition for drinking.

Inspired by the distinctive, slightly sweeter and peatier taste of this lost classic, Hankey Bannister Master Blender Stuart Harvey has now carefully recreated it for today’s premium blended whisky drinkers, providing them with a rare and authentic piece of Scotch whisky heritage that few whiskies could offer.

Using the current Hankey Bannister Original Blended Scotch Whisky as a starting point, Heritage Blend has been created by adding both higher aged and peated malts to reproduce a full, sweet flavour with a delicate hint of smoke.

To give Hankey Bannister drinkers a further slice of the brand’s history, the design team has taken inspiration from the 1920s packaging, resulting in Heritage Blend’s distinctive black glass bottle - made using a pioneering new glass colouring technique – and period lettering on the label.

The result is a fine blended whisky of great character. Bottled at 46% ABV, 5000 cases will be made available globally and each 70cl bottle will have an UK RRP of £26.99.

Hankey Bannister Heritage Blend Tasting Notes

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A light barley sugar nose, vanilla, toffee, dried fruit and just a touch of smoke in the background.

Taste: Demerara sugar sweetness, toffee, sultanas, hint of orange and plums, a bit of spice all coated in a deliciously light sweet smoke

Finish: Quite long, a touch of oak spice dryness. Sweet, dried fruit, vanilla. Slowly fading very light lingering smoke and spice staying until the end.

Comment: An excellent very well made complex and very easy to drink quality blended whisky and a real taste of Hankey Banister whisky history. Obviously some very good malts and grain whisky have gone into this and as you would expect in a whisky from this era it has a touch of peat smoke. I think this could pleasantly surprise quite a few single malt whisky drinkers, a lovely easy to drink complex blend and at £26.99 for a limited edition premium blend I would highly recommend it.

SMW Scotch Blended Whisky Score 91/100

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