N: The last time i was served Bells by a host, i took it as a cue to leave the party. This time around i only have myself to blame as i bought this miniature as part of a lot that included a marvellous 1948 Glenburgie. So here goes [without bias], it smells of - farts! [it wasn’t me]. Its so meh - theres nearly notes of this and that but they disappear into the next near miss. Its generally malty E150a, of course.
T: Ok - malty, honeyed E150a, but the oak presence is welcome with a touch of salt. Theres a nice creamy mouthfeel with honey lozenge as the main flavour.
F: That sweet lozenge cruises on through with oak as the anchor.
C: Its the oak maturation that saves the day and is that of any surprise? After all, its oak maturation that makes or breaks any malt or blend. With 12 years as a minimum, Bells, [now owned by Diageo] has produced a bland, non-offensive, blend - no surprises there but crucially it isn’t at all ghastly like the NAS version and scores for the maturation alone. Its possible to sip neat but lets not forget ourselves - this is solid Cocktail fodder.
Scores a C-