Is it just me, or is anyone else starting to get hero fatigue? Growing up, reading comics, watching cartoons, and playing with toys (*ahem* collectibles), I would have dreamed of Iron Man destroying the box office. A barrage of films being streamed into my TV via magical science would have been a fantasy, too. Yet this dream has grown into an oversaturated slog of keeping up with the latest films, tie-in tv shows, novels, and copious amounts of Lego sets I could never afford anyway.
Not that I am moaning; however, I may be confirming negative stereotypes with such complaining. Many love to pile on the second-youngest generation; a scary thought is that we, Millennials, span from 1981 to 1994 (God forbid!). More worryingly, we are the new target market for the whisky world. While I promise, most of us are far from being “advertised as shown” i.e. in trendy taverns, playing Taylor Swift on overpriced soundbars; maybe more Generation Z? You may have realized that there are more celebrity endorsements, YouTube adverts and whisky cocktail books than ever before to service such a demographic.
Now some brands seem to be solely focusing on us, and possibly expanding their reach to include older members of Generation Z. London-based Independent bottler Heroes & Heretics is one of these brands. How do I know this? Number 1: their 2021 Burns Night Celebration is hosted by two Made in Chelsea stars. Any further points are not required. (For the less-familiar among us, Made in Chelsea is a reality television show where viewer follows the hardships of twenty-somethings in London’s most exclusive borough.)
Not that I am moaning; in fact, I think this is brilliant. Why tell us annoying younguns that beautiful Beckham’s Haig Clubman is the end-all of whisky? Especially when they can be encouraged to try 13 year old Ledaig, 12 year old Craigellachie and a 27 year old Bunnahabhain!?
The products that Heroes and Heretics are peddling may feel a little jarring alongside their attempts at “hip” marketing, but you don’t make progress while sitting back. Like most modern attempts, it is not just a product, but an experience. In this case, the experience is that of the all-welcoming H&H Tribe, which even finds it in its heart to offer free shipping. I can confirm that I am one with this tribe, and I am not afraid to get my boots in the mud when marginal saving is available.
While self-described as “stylish and quality-oriented,” it’s up to us to see how their entry bottle—the 48, a 10-year-old blended malt Scotch whisky—compares to that statement.
I do want to point out that having a number for the name of a bottle is not only awkward when writing a review, but also known to cause confusion with the buyer. Take the scrutiny of Proper 12 for example. Granted, I don’t believe anyone could be so misguided as to think that you can buy a 48-year-old whisky for £50.
I assume the name is to match the 48% ABV, but the label states “The Number 48 is often associated with divine humanity and creative expression”. How stupid of me; of course, that is why. I must have been too distracted by the excitement caused by the clearly labelled “Non Chill Filtration” and “No Colourants,” not to mention the blinding, brilliantly jazzy gold-embossed 48 on the front. No doubt, that is what added to my confusion.
After lazily scouring their website and social media, there is little to unearth about this release. However, I can now recite quotes such as “It’s only a crazy dream until you do it” and “Try & fail, but don’t fail to try”. Yoda would have the chills from that last one… #blessed.
Now the word on the street is that this bottling is the love child of Speyside, Highland, and Orkney; however, I like the lack of certainty. It adds a little mystery to spice up my mundane existence.
Now, for all you number nerds, my bottling is Cask 23 and Bottle 766/880. This is available via Master of Malt for £46.95.
48 Heroes & Heretics 10 Year Old Blended Malt Scotch – review
Color: Golden straw with a tinge of green.
On the nose: Bucketfuls of wet green apples tied in with some sherry-infused dried fruits. A little bit of spice is mellowed out by sweet honey.
In the mouth: The texture is thinner than expected, but is bolstered by a good handful of black pepper, orange citrus, and plenty of malted barley. Slightly cloying and dry on the finish, yet it still lingers nicely with some charred oak.
Quotes overlaid over highly-edited photos of sunsets and skateboarders may not appeal to me directly, but scrolling through Facebook, I can see that there are some fans. After all, who can argue with “Live, laugh, love”?
This bottle is more complex than their carefully-constructed yet vapid social media feed lets on. It is certainly a baller blend, and if you got that cheddar to drop the £50-odd pounds on a nicely-labeled bottle, go for it.
This was a risky purchase, but I think the punt paid off. Now I have to sell my car, kidney, and cat to get my hands on the rest of their releases. Why couldn’t I have a rich “influencer daddy” to get it for me?
Lead image from Master of Malt and there are commission links above, but if you’re GenZ you’ll probably already know that.