Sunday, December 10, 2017

Whisky Review: Hankey Bannister 12 years "Regency" Blended Scotch Whisky

Winter has arrived in my part of the world.  Shoveling snow can seem like such a chore, but after I get it done, I like a nice blended Scotch to take the chill away.  A whisky that is not too complicated, expensive or needing my attention.

"Hankey Bannister" reminds me of other low end brands like "Passport" and "Banknote."  They try, in an unsubtle fashion, to appear to be the choice tipple of the affluent, but come off as looking cheap and about as classy as that old green bottle of Paco Rabanne cologne that sat in your Dad's medicine cabinet during your entire childhood.

I reached for a bottle of Hankey Bannister because, in spite of the lack of cachet and 'buzz,' (which I always try to ignore in the mainstream spirits press) I just had to know what such an old brand offered its current loyal customers.

You see, when I first got into drinking whisky and initially enthralled with it, it was the blends that hooked me.  Teacher's, Famous Grouse, Black Bottle and Islay Mist to name but a few.  To my palate at the time they were wonderfully smooth and not overwhelming in flavors that was the case with many single malts.  But with time, the quality of blends has been in decline (e.g. Black Bottle, Teacher's) and I also acquired a taste for the single malts.  So, I always have a had a soft spot for blends.

Very reasonable for a 12 year age statement.


Chill Filtration?
For sure!


Wood Management
Aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon casks.

Core Malts
Pulteney Distillery
Balblair Distillery
anCnoc Distillery
Speyburn Distillery

Grain Whiskies
Sourced from the Lowlands.

Nose (undiluted)
Soft, sweet, dandelion, vanilla, very subtle smoke.

Palate (undiluted)
Crisp honey, vanilla, gold oats and syrup, white cake bread, sweet barley and toffee.

Finish (undiluted)
Balblair malts and young grains contribute grapefruit notes but no bitterness.  A little hint of ginger and a nice puff of smoke at the very end.

General Impressions
I really like this blend! 

Takes me back to my first steps into whisky with good blends.  This is an impressive blend.  It is not complex, but I was not expecting any English garden maze of flavors.  However, there is a nice transition in flavors and texture.  At first sip it is sweet, but dries by the finish.  Initially it is sweet honey, but by the finish there is grapefruit and lime zest.

Reminds me a lot of Chivas Regal 12 years.  I would take this over that.

Maybe I should try Dad's Paco Rabanne now.


Jason Debly