Sunday, 23 April 2017

Some younger Bruichladdich

Three young-ish laddies here, two are even official bottlings!  These reinforce that careful casking is more important than colour – it’s all part of the blend.

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2008, 50% A+

bruichladdich-bere-barley-2008-whiskyNose - Light and bright, orange and mango juice, a little grapefruit zest, cherry lip salve for the wax. Hand soap. I do love these bright, fresh, young whiskies at this time of the year. This one is particularly "honest", lovely. More fruit boiled sweets and wax with water.

Body - Balanced young first fill bourbon (cake, wax) with pepper spirit and hard fruit - green apple, apple boiled sweets and maybe mint Pacers. Cut grass, pruned tree. Hotter with water.

Finish - Mr Kipling Bakewell tart. A long finish, quite spicy but very rich. More lemon with water - cut and squeezed.

I was quite excited to try this one - I love the barley specific whiskies as they tend to have more care taken over the selection of casks, quite apart from the controversial matter of whether the barley variety makes a difference. And this was everything I wanted it to be - that Bruichladdich confidence and quality of production, and a really honest drinking whisky.

Other whiskies I'm aware of that use this variety of barley are the Arran Bere Barley and of course the recent Springbank 11 year old local barley

Thanks Mark for the sample of this.

Bruichladdich, The Laddie Ten, second limited edition, 50% A+'

18,000 bottles, first fill bourbon, sherry and French wine casks

bruichladdich-10-year-old-the-laddie-ten-second-limited-edition-whiskyNose - Deeper and cakier than the Bere barley, but then there is the high degree of engineering in the casks with this one. Buttercream icing, blood and blood oranges, a touch of window putty. Then red wine cask is noticeable and well integrated, in fact it was one of the first things I noticed with this bottle - it's a drying, berried tannin with the buttercream richness. Even better integration with water, more fruit, slightly dustier.

Body - Soft, riper and much more luxurious than the Bere Barley, hot red wine (like an Australian Shiraz) and more sponge cake. Toffee pennies and a little crushed charcoal. Weaker with water, more obvious wood.

Finish - Very long and hot, tannic and peppery, with red fruit throughout.

Another excellent, honest drammer, which is exactly why (nearly) everyone loves Bruichladdich so much. Excellent production and a very clever piece of blending make this young whisky clearly greater than the sum of its parts. Highly recommended.

Bruichladdich, Old Particular, 11 years old, 48.4% B⊕

June 2005-November 2016, PX sherry hogshead, 185 bottles

bruichladdich-11-year-old-2005-cask-11509-old-particular-douglas-laing-whiskyNose - Dried fruits, slightly sour, quite winey with lemon juice (maybe a gastrique, it's got that reduced sherry vinegar note), ozone and glace cherries. Hot, hoppy wort and malt loaf with butter. Toothsome, juicy, fruity, Christmassy stuff. After sipping, a little more robust, like the unpeated style Caol Ila is secretly really peaty. Hangover peat. With water, much fruitier with orange peel and mango squash, but also beef jus. Having said that it's much more bourbon cask (I wonder if this was only finished in PX?).

Body - Sweet, but spicy with chewed paper and charred wood. Fruit polos on the tip of the tongue. Too weak with water, like flat cola.

Finish - Old Holborn rolling tobacco and charred dried raisins, black pepper at the side of the mouth.

An interesting but too young laddie, finished into a great nose and colour but without the depth to back it up.

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