Passport Blended Scotch Review


Country: Scotland
Brand: Passport
Type: Blended Whisky 
Age:  Unknown. I would guess 3-5 years. The Passport Whisky that is bottled in Scotland is said to have matured 8 Years.
ABV: 40%

Colour: Amber (E-150 Colourant Caramel is added)

Nose: I gave the Passport more than an hour in the glass to open up but to no avail. The harsh alcohol is in complete control. And the alcohol did remind me a bit of lamp oil or something like that. I also got images from a car repair shop when smelling this blend. There is some Malt, Bread Dough, Nut Shells, Wood and a little Citrus but that’s all. After a while I thought I detected some Smoke but not the pleasant peaty one. More like black smoke from a factory.

Taste: The Delivery is sharp and slightly burns the palate. There might be a bit of Orange hidden in there but it’s hard to find and it’s not a pleasure looking for it. There is an Oaky Bitterness to the blend as well that reminded me of my childhood when breaking Walnuts in the days before Christmas. When you add a bit of water it helps to limit the burning on your palate. Other than that it does not add anything positive.

Finish: Short (Thanks God!) Bitter and Sharp. Sharp meaning just sharp. No spices here whatsoever. A touch of factory smoke after a while.

Rating: 65

Nose: 17 – Taste: 17 – Finish: 15 – Overall: 16

General Remarks: The Passport I'm tasting today was blended in- and matured in Scotland under control of William Longmore & Co. It was then transported in Bulk to Brazil and bottled and watered down over here by Pernot Ricard in their plant in the state of Pernambuco. That means that Brazilian Mineral Water was added until the required minimum alcohol percentage of 40% was reached. This means of course that Passport bottled in Scotland and Passport bottled in Brazil should be considered as two different blends with their own individual characteristics. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Below Average

Passport Control/Conclusion: This is not a blend I consider suitable for drinking straight. It’s not pleasant that way. I’m sure you can mix it with coke or drown it in ice but that’s not my idea of enjoying whisky. The Passport Blend that is bottled in Scotland is said to be creamy and fruity and smooth but not one of these characteristics can be found in the Brazilian (step) sister. Brazil is the most important sales market for the Passport Blend. Sure, it’s a bit better than the Drury’s and Old Eight’s and the likes that are for sale here but not by much. Isn’t it time that Brazil gets to taste the real Passport? I think so, after all, a real Passport allows you to travel abroad!!!!

Jan van den Ende                                                           October 25, 2014


P.S.: As an afterthought I viewed Jim Murray’s Tasting Notes on the Brazilian Bottled Passport in the 2011 Whisky Bible. He scores it 91 points and I just can’t believe we’re talking about the same whisky! I even started to wonder if my sample would have come from a falsified Passport. Anything is possible in Brazil. So I will make sure I will taste this blend again in the near future. Just to be sure! As you have noticed above I bought another bottle in October 2014 and nosed and tasted it again today. I have updated the text somewhat but in general my earlier opinion stands.

14 comments:

  1. It's a shame you perhaps picked up a grossly subpar bottle, my friend. The bottle I tried here in the U.S. was solid for the $15 (and that's here in Illinois!) I picked it up for. I recall a pleasant Speyside-driven dram that made for great (and cheap!) comfort scotch. Cheers, and excellent blog! I shall be returning.
    -Yochanan

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    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment. I believe there is a significant difference between the Passport bottled in Scotland (and exported to the USA) and the Passport that is bottled here in Brazil. This is also the case with Teacher's Highland Cream. I'm trying to find out over here what is happening to these blends. Glad you liked the blog!
      Cheers!
      Jan

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  2. I have what I think is a bottle from the 1970s in my cabinet. The measurements are in quarts and there's a tax stamp on the cap. Suddenly I have a desire to open it.

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    1. Hi Eric, Thanks for commenting.Would be very interesting to know how these older bottlings taste. I have 3 miniatures from the seventies, J&B, Old Parr and Cutty Sark. I'm really curious to open them but all the time something is holding me back. But maybe I should give one a try this year!
      Cheers,
      Jan

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    2. Jan, I had a couple of bottles of cutty sark. One from the 80s and one from the 90s passed to me by my grandpa. I was always held back opening them but earlier this year I did and I was glad I did. Jus go for it mate.
      Leammington (from Zimbabwe)

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    3. Hi Leammington, thanks for commenting. I've heard other stories as well about blends that used to be much better in the past. Examples are Johnnie Walker and J&B. Whisky wasn't so popular those days and more good quality whisky was available for blends. Today the situation is different I'm afraid. Would love to try these older Blends but it's almost impossible to find them!
      Cheers and Have a Great Weekend!
      Jan

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  3. passport was originally bottled in Scotland, and it was a great scotch. I stopped drinking it when it started to be shipped in bulk.
    same for Vat 69 scotch, some bottom shelf scotch just is not worth drinking.

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    1. Hi Richard, thanks for commenting! I totally agree with you on the subject of bottom shelf Scottish blends. Bourbon, if you like it of course, is a much better alternative at very attractive prices! Cheers,
      Jan

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  4. I have the same experience here (in Peru... somehow we're neighbors.) I still read some excellent reviews here and there about this particular whisky... but mine still tastes like a full waste of time and money. I also wondered if my bottle was falsified, but I'm grateful for having read this post---maybe mine is just Brazilian and that's all. Thanks.

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    1. Hi neighbour, thanks for commenting! Sorry for the late reply but I was traveling. I fully agree with you. Your Passport seems to be just as expired as mine! It just doesn't taste right. You're not alone on this one Kike. Have a great 2017. Cheers, Jan.

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  5. Here i am, searching for reviews and i find a Dutch living in the same city as i live. Life is interesting!

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    1. Hi Jorge, yes I live here since 1994. And you, where are you from? How long do you live in Sao Paulo? Did you like the blog? Cheers, Jan.

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  6. Bali, Indonesia. Sitting out a rainstorm after an early morning hike and was seeing that my local booze delivery guy is selling Passport for 15% less than my regular JW Red. Never having to my knowledge tried the blend, Google brought me here. Fascinating reading. Thank you. Am hoping the product here is not bulk shipped nor diluted by Seagram's in the region. I'll see tonight and report back! Alex

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    1. Hi Alex, thanks for your comments! Sorry for my late reply but I was traveling! Glad you liked the review! If you enjoy Passport over ice it holds its ground versus JW Red. Give it a try and let me know! Cheers!
      Jan.

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