Label 5 Gold Heritage 40%ABV NAS 2017

Label 5 is owned by La Martiniquaise, who also own the Glen Moray distillery, allegedly the main contributor of malts to Label 5 blends. Gold Heritage is approaching the high end of garden variety blend pricing, if not quality. I'm going to jump ahead here for those of you in a hurry or reading this on your phone in the whisky aisle at Dan Murphy and just say, skip this blend and buy anything from Glen Moray instead. All of their single malts are considerably better and will save you up to twenty bucks. Nor will you have to put up with the ridiculous plastic bung in the neck of the bottle that makes it dribble incontinently rather than pour. The heavy rectangular bottle looks more French than Scottish, as one might expect given it is a La Martiniquaise product. With the plastic thing choking its neck a cork is out of the question, so it's a plastic screw cap atop this glass monument to marketing. According to Label 5, Gold Heritage contains malts of various ages, with some "aged for more than 20 years". 

Colour: Chestnut Oloroso. 

Nose: The sour/bitter scent of stale old casks. Grain, lemon, walnut, harsh spirit and...and nothing worth tarrying over, let's move on. 

Palate: Better than the nose portents but I struggle to find much flavour. Simple bordering on bland. Hints of pistachio, apricot and rosewater but a flourish of caramel and butterscotch is the highlight until a very grain driven finish when vanilla and cinnamon pop into the picture, fading quickly away to a somewhat metallic finale. There is a harsh little sting in its tail, but otherwise, it is an unchallenging and inoffensive blend that will, Ninja like, make it's way from bottle to gullet barely noticed. Perhaps that's what they wanted. Perhaps that's all they had to work with. 

Label 5 Gold Heritage is a less than average blend at the cost of many a decent single malt. For the price of Gold Heritage, Glenmorangie 10, Glenfiddich 12, Glen Grant 10 and numerous other malts offer much better value.

It's not a bad whisky; but, with much improvement, perhaps it could be.


William Crampton