Bessie 11 Years (The Whisky Jury)

Bessie 11 Years (The Whisky Jury)

Bessie 11 Year Old… no need to explain further, I guess. You don’t need to be a big whisky connoisseur to know that Elizabeth “Bessie” Williamson was the female distillery manager and former owner of a famous Islay distillery. In case that’s not enough, the label design and the characteristic green colour should give it away.

Although the label says blended malt it should really be called a teaspooned malt.


Islay Blended Malt ‘Bessie’ 11 yo 2010 (56,5%, The Whisky Jury 2022, refill sherry butt #138, 360 btl.)

Nose: smoked lemons, peat and a big dash of antiseptics. Really medicinal, with bandages and iodine. Sunflower oil. Plenty of seaweed and brine. Then also new rubber boots. The sherry is there in the background, bringing tobacco notes, red apple and walnuts. Maybe one raisin too. Textbook Bessie.

Mouth: oily, and powerful. Again the medicinal character stands out. Hints of briny smoke, very tarry Lapsang tea, some green spice and menthol. Then leathery notes, sesame oil, Kalamata olives and a lot of salty notes. The sherry brings some sweetness to the table as well, but only towards the end.

Finish: long, salty and very ashy. Hints of cough medicine and tar.

Indeed a textbook bottling for this distillery and this age. Perfect mouthfeel, plenty of medicinal notes and simply a nice refill sherry profile. Check The Whisky Jury for a list of retailers.