In a world where technology and life in general move forward at breakneck speeds, sometimes it’s good to take a moment to slow down and enjoy something with a bit of history. Enter The Gladstone Axe; a Scotch Whisky with oodles of history and promising plenty of flavour.
Whisky brands, perhaps more so than with other drink brands, pull heavily on history and as a result, you tend to drink the ‘story’ as much as you do the liquor. The foundations and naming of this whisky were formed over 100 years ago when the founder’s ancestor was a rather prominent figure in UK politics. William Ewart Gladstone served 4 terms as Prime Minister through the 1800s, with a political career spanning 60 years. Known for his hands-on approach to land management, Mr Gladstone would regularly be seen roaming his grounds axe in hand; and hence we arrive at ‘The Gladstone Axe’.
Two whisky blends are offered; American Oak and The Black Axe. Both are made from 100% malted barley and aged in oak barrels in Scotland, mixing a selection of malt whiskies from 14 different Highland and Islay distilleries. The American Oak offers a more traditional whisky flavour, whereas the Black Axe offers a more spicy, smokey flavour.
Taste is highly subjective and biased by personal taste, but with Whisky it’s also important to keep in mind cost; with The Gladstone Axe selling for a modest £32.00 a bottle.
Considering the cost, the American Oak is a very smooth, drinkable whisky with a well-judged balance of subtle flavours. The Black Axe is perhaps more of an acquired taste, with a distinct smokiness which may be overpowering for some, but will blend well in whisky cocktails.
Cocktails are an area The Gladstone Axe are keen to push; hoping the flavour/cost combination will open up appeal to a younger generation of Whisky drinkers. From a branding point of view, they’ve certainly created a cohesive and appealing story that very much compliments the product on offer. The bottle too is superbly designed, with fantastic details formed into the glass and the wax-sealed cork a superb final touch. Based on the great combination of price and design, The Gladstone Axe gets a thumbs up from the MSF team.