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.
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.
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.