Tag Archives: Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich 2003 11 Year Old Crofter’s Cask Review

Islay is a small island with a population count hovering around 3,300 people. Many of them are working in the whisky and tourism industry and so it’s logical that some of them rose to fame and can even be celebrities for whisky lovers. But not all Islay celebrities are human, as some would argue that Crofter, a dog owned by Steve Bavin, now of Islay Ales and formerly of Bruichladdich distillery, can also be considered as a local celebrity, especially during the yearly Feis pilgrimage.

Crofter, a dog who entertains his owner Steve and other Islay visitors over the years is featured on a private bottling done by Steve, both in title and label, and I’m sure Crofter contributed a lot to the success of this 11 year old Bruichladdich by sniffing out the right cask. Or maybe it’s just because Steve worked there and knew which cask to select?

Bruichladdich 2003 11 Year Old Crofter’s Cask (61.1%)

Nose: Very clean, lots of minerals, melon and honey, dusty when sniffed neat,  very little peat and smoke, salt. Continue reading

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC 12 “Oileanach furachail” (and PC7 as a Bonus) Review

Today’s the second day of Feis Ile 2017, so happy Laddie day y’all!

In honor of Laddie day, I’ve decided to review a two years old whisky which surprisingly can still be found in many web shops – The Port Charlotte PC12 “Oileanach furachail”. The PC12 signaled the start of Adam Hannett hegemony at Bruichladdich and leads a different way from the PC11.

Oh, and while we’re at it, I’ve also thrown in a bonus review of the PC7, always interesting to see how things develops over time.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC 12 “Oileanach furachail”(58.7%, €119,99)

Nose: I think the whisky got oxidized a bit as we’re having a more gentle nose then I recall when I first tasted it. Gentle dried red fruit with heavy dose of red berries and a topping of dry smoke, honey shines through sometinmes. It has smooth edges with nothing too sharp (“blame” or bless the oxidization). With more time in glass, lovely milk chocolate and teaspoon of coffee with dry smoke throughout it all. Continue reading

Bruichladdich 1992 23 Year Old (The Single Malts of Scotland) Review

It’s full blown blossoming spring time here – getting warmer, greenery all around, and so a fitting day for a spring-time Bruichladdich dram. A bottling from Speciality Drinks Ltd (the sister company to The Whisky Exchange, although Billy from TWE may say “it’s complex” on the relationships 😉 )

It’s a 1992 vintage, 23 year old that matrured in a Hogshead #3839 that was bottled in August 2016, yielding 237 bottles.

Bruichladdich 1992 23 Year Old (The Single Malts of Scotland) (55.4%, 237 bottles, £125/€165)

Nose: Starts fruity with a lot of spiced melon, oak wood spices, a bit of a damp wood which dampens my mood as I don’t like it too much, eucalyptus, a weak honey note and after a while, the fruitiness tends towards the sour side with newly developed minerals. Adding some water brings out some vanilla and less of the minerals but also a less fruitiness which is a loss. Continue reading

Bruichladdich Micro Provenance 5 #LaddieMP5 Review

I know it’s been a while since my last post on the blog, but it’s not a paying gig and there were other things that were occupying my free time. I’ll try to get back to posting on a more regular basis and I’ll start with a recap and review of the #LaddieMP5 event held by Bruichladdich last Thursday.

In case you aren’t familiar with the MP term, MP means Micro Provenance as Bruichladdich are keen on testing and exploring the impact of terroir, barley and casks on the final result and last Thursday was the 5th public MP event (hence the #LaddieMP5 hashtag) where multitude of people around the world were tasting 3 whiskies chosen especially for the events. You can see the full live broadcast right here:

This time it was all Port Charlotte whiskies, peated to 40 ppm (as is the usual rate for PC whiskies), all of the same age (+/- few months).

Here are the notes I gathered on the #LaddieMP5 drams:

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year Old (Fresh Bourbon cask) (56.9%, cask #1999)

laddiemp5-pc-10-year-old-cask-1999Nose: starts malty and intense with promises of spices with pepper and freshly sawed oak wood. Now the peat shows up and there’s a strong feel of freshness and sweetness despite strong note of salt. A few whiffs of fish sauce like being on the beach near the fishermen with their fresh haul, honey and vanilla pudding, I did say fresh, right? Getting sweeter over time, more vanilla pudding and the peat can’t rise farther and stays relaxed with a bit of perfume and peaches. Continue reading

Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 Review

Along with the surprising Laddie Eight, Bruichladdich has released a new Port Charlotte edition to the Travel Retail market to replace the PC12. The new release, Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 was matured for 8 years, yes, both releases boast the 8, and in French casks that were previously used to mature Cognac, hence the CC in the release name (Cognac Cask).

2.5 years ago, Octomore 6.2 which was matured in Cognac casks was released and I think it’s one of the best Octomores every released. Due to timing, I have a hunch that both Octomore 6.2 and the new Port Charlotte shares the same cask heritage, but is the new and more matured PC as good as the Octomore 6.2?

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 (57.8%, £67.99)

port charlotte 2007 cc01Nose: Dry and fuzzy, peat, sweet wine, butterscotch, sticky toffee, hazelnut, burnt wood smoke (Which reminds me of the PC12).

Palate: Smoke and peat, sharper than the nose hints of, sweet wine, fruitiness, butterscotch, dry, burnt wood and sizzling charred meat.

Finish: Long finish, dry and fizzy, smoke, lingering sweet from cognac and fruit.

Thoughts: Let’s face the truth – you can’t really compare PC to Octomore, they are siblings but the gap between them is large, both in PPM and age. But even so, while I think the Octomore 6.2 is better (according to my personal taste), this new Port Charlotte is very good – It’s a different beast that leans toward the dry and smoky side with a stronger smoke note but is carefully balanced by the Cognac sweetness and fruitiness.

(Official sample provided by Bruichladdich Distillery)


Bruichladdich Laddie Eight Review

Following the Octomore 7.4 review, let’s keep the Bruichladdich theme for a little more while. Recently Bruichladdich released two new expressions, exclusively to the Travel Retail market and it was an interesting choice to release a young unpeated Laddie with a single digit age statement: the Bruichladdich Laddie Eight.

It it an interesting release for two reasons. The first one is that we have an age statement for young whisky instead of going the more familiar and used route of a NAS release. In fact, it’s the second major release this year to boast such an age after the Lagavulin 8 and both distilleries got praised for this practice of releasing a young whisky without being ashamed of it and I hope more will follow that route instead of the NAS one.

And the second reason is even more interesting if you recall that in the last few years there have been a world-wide supply shortage of Laddie 10 yo. In fact, it is now showing up only at the distillery shop and even that happens very sparingly. So this release, which is probably produced on a more limited base comparing to past Laddie 10 batches, may signal the re-appearance of Laddie 10 in 2-3 years.

And the Laddie Eight itself? As usual with Bruichladdich it carries a higher than usual ABV of 50%, unchill-filtered and the color is au natural.

Bruichladdich Laddie Eight (50%, £44.99)

bruichladdie laddie eightNose: Very malty at first with cereals porridge, whiffs of orange and tangerines at first, it’s salty beyond my expectations, dusty with limestone as well, honey and vanilla, cut ripe peaches and apricots , minuscule traces of peat smoke, With additional time it becomes cloudy way beyond dusty and deep inhales reveals the funky lactic laddie trademark, and lemon honey. Continue reading

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.4 Review

I quite adore the Octomore line up from Bruichladdich. As one who considers himself as a peathead, having a unique extremely highly peated whisky line is nothing less than a blessing. I tasted and reviewed a few Octomores and I always look forward for new expressions to see what else do they have in their tricks bag.

The latest Octomore release was in late 2015; the Octomore 7.4. It’s the first time that Bruichladdich has reached the x.4 number for an Octomore release. Here’s a quick primer for you: the x.1 represents the ‘natural’ (bourbon casks) release, x.2 represents the wine finish, x.3 which is a relatively recent addition is the Islay (local) barley variant and now we have x.4 – the Virgin Oak variant.

This time it’s not a simple and straightforward case of putting an Octomore spirit (at 167 ppm) into Virgin Oak casks and bottling them 7 years later, oh no. Instead, it’s a a combination of 25% full-term maturation in virgin oak casks and 75% that were matured for 3 year in first fill ex-bourbon casks, transferred for 2 years in virgin oak casks and then finished for another 2 year in first fill bourbon. So Octomore 7.4 is 7 years old instead of the customary 5 years old we are used to see and should boast a fruity and sweet profile.

Why the change? what made Adam Hannett and the Bruichladdich team change the formula?

Fortunately, we do have some insight into the process here as some casks of 7yo Octomore fully matured in Virgin Oak casks were on public tasting in the months leading to the official release. Thanks to the Bruichladdich team and a friend, I managed to taste such a cask that was showcased in Bruichladdich Feis Ile 2015 event:

Bruichladdich Octomore 2008 single cask #1202 from Feis Ile 2015 (64.4%)

2008 octomore virgin oak cask 1202 64.4Nose: Very closed and muted at first due to the high ABv but slowly heavy sweetness develops along with heavy flowered meadow, apricots and peaches grove, burnt toffee, a bit over-burnt caramel, coals and wood smoke, late night bonfire remnants, almost not peated after the active cask robbed the phenols for 7 years. Continue reading