Saturday, 6 December 2014

Bruichladdich Micro-Provenance Series

The Micro Provenance series is unique to Bruichladdich and is conceived as an exploration into cask evolution, each individually picked by master distiller Jim McEwan to explore the fine nuances of the Bruichladdich whisky and the effects of warehousing, oak, cask and micro-climate on maturing spirit.

A few new ones of this series have been released recently, all being OB single casks, rare for Bruichladdich:

  • BRUICHLADDICH - MICRO PROVENANCE CASK 12.6A.002 - 1985 BOURBON (£250)
  • BRUICHLADDICH - MICRO PROVENANCE CASK #1527 - 2004 SAUTERNES (£90)
  • BRUICHLADDICH - MICRO PROVENANCE CASK #1310 - 2004 AMARONE (£90)

The 1985 I would love to try but is outside of my price range, the other two are just inside and I was able to split them with Jon.  No, I don’t want to encourage Bruichladdich to produce 9 year old whisky at £90 a bottle, but then I don’t want to miss it either.  Oh well…

Bruichladdich Micro-Provenance Cask 1527, 9 years old, 57.2% A-

Distilled 01.12.04, Optic barley, Quercus Robur cask, Sauternes full term (assuming d’Yquem), warehouse 11, rack R24.

mp-single-cask-scotch-whisky-2004-sauternes_0Nose – Dark, malted, sweet, much like the Cuvee E, but deeper and much more lactic.  Dusty and robust – tomato stalks.  A little petrol and quite young but has complexity with unlit cigars and soft toffee.  I quite like the juxtaposition of the too-young spirit with the full term maturation in Sauternes.  With water, lots of chocolate, but even younger.

Body – Sweet, robust wood, spicy, young arrival but veers into more interesting territory with wood shavings and peach liqueurs retronasally.  With water, sweet sour booze and more peach liqueur. 

Finish – Medium, very sweet, cloying… almost peated in its spiciness.  Extremely sweet at the end, and very oily.  The Cuvee E is a lot more gentle than this.

What’s not good about it – Too young, too young by a long way.  Doesn’t swim well.  And too expensive.

What’s good about it – Quite satisfying neat, good nose – complex and challenging and fun to sip.  I will enjoy the rest of this bottle but I won’t be rushing to buy it again.

Bruichladdich Micro-Provenance Cask 1310, 9 years old, 57.3% A+

Distilled 15.11.04, Optic barley, Quercus Robur cask, Amarone full term, warehouse 5, rack L4.

mp-single-cask-scotch-whisky-2004-amerone_0Nose – Clean, winey, really lovely malt and wine balance.  Dusty again, chalk and slate.  Young again.  With water, a bit better.  I’m reminded of Octomore with the fried BBQ meat and robust cereal influence (not that it’s new makey). 

Body – Ripe, beautifully deep port-like delivery.  Black cherries, tart tatin, lightly peated, like a gentle Bowmore.  With water, much better integrated and rather lovely – a very good wine influenced, young and feisty whisky.

Finish – Long, long and sweet, some chorizo?  Bitter grapefruit.  Very savoury, good wood spice.  Holds together a lot better than the sauternes.  Lingering pepper and sweet wood.  Good tropical burps – I thought that was an age thing?

What’s not good about it – A little one dimensional.  Overpriced.  I guess I should be looking at these as an interesting data point (which I am) but they need to sell it as a 20cl bottle for that to work for me.

What’s good about it – All you could really want from a young, winey Bruichladdich – very competent, savoury, balanced and interesting.  I’d certainly buy this again – I might not though, given the ridiculous activity at SMWS recently!

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