1,2,3 this is a test. Do you hear me well? Good! This is the first post in this blog and I’m very excited – Never thought I’ll be opening a blog and actually publishing something 🙂
Not long ago I helped organized a private Bruichladdich testing event for whisky fans, enthusiasts and friends and I thought it may be a great reason to start this blog going.
Couple of months ago I’ve laid my hands on a Bruichladdich Black Art 3.1 bottle and was waiting for the proper opportunity to open it up. As one can expect, such moments never materialized when you need them :-). So after realizing that I need to force that moment, I came up with the idea to organize Bruichladdich tasting event as an excuse to open the bottle…
After couple of months (Summer vacations, family events and holidays intervened..) we finally arrived to that moment: 9 great whisky fans and friends met to taste 7 Bruichladdich whiskies – some ‘standard’ laddies and some peated expressions
So without further ado, let’s get to the real deal:
Bruichladdich 12-year-old, 2nd ed. (bourbon cask, 46%), ~41€
Nose: very subdued but can immediately detect the baby vomit, then some vanilla and wood
Palate: much stronger then the nose impression – wood shavings, vanilla and then some surprising lingering peat feeling
Finish: bitter, wood, short-medium finish, very flat without much complexity. probably impacted from the fact that the bottle was opened few years ago
Conclusion: Meh. Seriously! Maybe if it was a new/fresh bottle it’s a decent whisky, but this one wasn’t so good.
Bruichladdich 20-year-old Islands, 3rd ed. (Malmsey Madeira Finish, 46%) ,~106€
Nose: still very subdued, no real Oomph coming up from the glass, starts with baby vomit, then the finishing kicks in: sweet wine, raisins, some whiffs of vanilla in the background
Palate: again, much stronger then the nose impression – starts with wood and then swiftly the sweet wine flavour kicks in. After few seconds the vanilla/wood combo comes in to remind is it’s a whisky after all.
Finish: after-taste of sweet wood, some spices. Doesn’t feel very complex, also probably impacted from the fact that the bottle was opened few years ago
Conclusion: Decent expression, great for casual drinking
Bruichladdich Black Art 03.1 (Bourbon / American Oak + Premium Wine, 48.7%), 110€
Nose: higher ABV so finally getting some Oomph. wine is dominant, coconut, some vanilla hiding in there, coming up from the glass, starts with baby vomit, then the finishing kicks in: sweet wine, raisins, some whiffs of vanilla in the background
Palate: wine then oakwood joins in. After adding some water, the vanilla/wood combo is stronger with bourbon-like feel.
Finish: after-taste of spicy wood. quite complex, nothing is overpowering here.
Conclusion: very good one. complex, darker and require time to enjoy it.
Bruichladdich Waves, (46%, 7 yo), 29€
Nose: Hello peat-land! we’re in different territory now with the peat smell coming up from the glass upon sniffing. so we get peat, sea brine, some fruits, some very clean and sharp flavours of vanilla and wood.
Palate: saltiness, then comes along the wood and the vanilla. then some smoke and peat.
Finish: after-taste of spicy wood, long finish, lots of spice here.
Bruichladdich Infinity 1st ed (55.5%, Sherry Cask), 91€
Nose: with 55% ABV we do get serious alcohol bang. upon sniffing we get the trademark baby vomit, peat, some BBQ sauce, orange and some chocolate.
Palate: oh boy, I wasn’t expecting this – what a strong peat notes hamming out at the palate! the nose didn’t clued us at this. serious gap here. when the peat retreat we finally get vanilla, orange, sulphur notes.
Finish: long rough peated finish with some orange notes.
Conclusion: interesting peated expression but the peat was too dominant, rough and harsh here for me
Bruichladdich 2001, Cask 311 (Sherry Hogshead, 53.11%), 55€
This is an indie bottling – single cask and cask strength. let’s see how different is it from the other OB laddies we tasted so far:
Nose: smoke, peat, sherry notes, raisins and some sulphur. still very subdued, no real Oomph coming up from the glass, starts with baby vomit, then the finishing kicks in: sweet wine, raisins, some whiffs of vanilla in the background
Palate: again, big gap between nose and palate – the peat is way stronger on the palate, although not as rough as the Infinity – more rounded and polite and not as overpowering, giving some space for the other notes to get out – sherry notes, wet wood, spices.
Finish: long finish of gentle peat and sherry. lovely one!
Conclusion: For me it was the best of the peated Bruichladdich tasted in the event. With a 55€, also great value for money.
The Bruichladdich team managed to create some miracles with the old barrels stock they got along with the distillery when they bought it in 2000. Those OB expressions we tasted were on the scale between standard-entry-level (like the 12 and waves) to quite interesting expressions (like infinity and black art).
The indie cask (311) was a delightful surprise which makes me co-crown it as the best Bruichladdich of the evening (along with the Black Art 3)
Thank you Ira for hosting the evening and suffering us for 3 hours 🙂
Epilogue: If you survived this review and arrived here you probably managed to count just 6 reviews while we had 7 whiksies on the table. Well, Mr Murphy (of the famous law) joined the celebration and we had to replace one Bruichladdich expression with Longrow RED 11, but I’ll review it another time 🙂