Review – Steel Bonnets Blended Malt Whisky.

The Steel Bonnets blended malt whisky is, according to the marketing info, created with ‘the highest quality malt whiskies from either side of the border’. Indeed it appears to be the first ever blend of Scottish and English whiskies.

Steel Bonnets is a combination of The Lakes Single Malt from England and some of the “most respected malts” from north of the Border.

The Lakes Distillery and their Head Whiskymaker Dhavall Ghandi have created Steel Bonnets blended malt whisky to ‘honour the memory of those people who lived in the Border Marches of England and Scotland during the 13th – 17th centuries”.

There is a serious amount of marketing and storytelling behind this, lets cut to the chase and check out the contents…

Steel Bonnets Blended Malt, OB, (The Lakes Distillery) 46.6%abv (press sample)


Colour: Dark Gold

Appearance: Medium slow, teardrop legs.

The nose is somewhat plummy with dark fresh fruit mixed with wisps of woodsmoke and a slightly damp and herby note. Slightly grassy at times there are also hints of nutty toffee and damp wood lingering, which are wrapped up in touches of vanilla. There is a is a slight spiritiness, strong touches of nose prickle here and there, feels punchier than it should at 46.6%.

The palate is in general creamy and nutty, its a touch earthy which mingles alongside bananas and some good tropical fruit notes. There are some nice spices here and some touches of ginger. After a while there is an orange note which moves from marmalade to blood orange as time goes on. It remains nutty throughout. Doesn’t really match the flavour profile suggested by the nose.

The finish is tangy, spiced and partially smoky with a few coastal notes and a few tannins. Little too much ginger and pepper here. Lingering smoke and charred spice complete the finish.

It is an interesting idea (you do have to wonder if it has been created just to allow them to have a ‘first’ or maybe I’m far too cynical…) but the whisky itself just feels a little disjointed, not quite as balanced as I’d like it to be.

Its not a bad whisky per se but it’s certainly not worth an RRP of £60 upwards. I’d rather pay less for the marketing and more for the whisky…

For a product sitting in the premium blend category it is just lacking a little.

Find many more tasting notes and whisky news in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

Prefer to recieve monthly updates? Why not join my mailing list?

Want to comment on my article? Feel free to Contact Me.


  1. […] I have reviewed only one of their products before, the rather unimpressive Steel Bonnets Blended Malt. […]

  2. […] I’ve had a few rants about whisky marketing recently. You can read my thoughts on several different approaches to marketing in my reviews of  Daftmill, Ardgowan Expedition and Steel Bonnets. […]

  3. […] It is no secret that whisky marketing has been one of my recent rants. I went on a bit of a ramble in both my recent Daftmill article (which you can read here) and during my review of The Lakes Distillery Steel Bonnets (which is here) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s