Bruichladdich Distillery Bottlings Tasting Notes

Posted: August 17, 2011 in Bruichladdich, Scotch Whisky A-G

Bruichladdich Classic Edition 1 46%

Tasted: Oct 2009

Whoa!! What’s going on here? Good grief it’s a fight in a tropical fruiterer’s! This must be without a shadow of a doubt the most fruity expression I have ever nosed. It begins with ‘classic’ apple and honeysuckle and then theCaribbeancomes to town with guava, banana, pineapple and kiwi fruitaromas bursting from the glass. The background oak is only just perceptible.

The palate opens with some lush honey and then the tropical fruitarrives in waves of toffee’d cinnamon sprinkled exquisiteness, with a garnish of honeysuckle and lavender. The only problem with the palate is that the oak comes crashing through very quickly and stops the fruity fun stone dead.

As this a ‘multi-vintage’ as they like to call these bottling and designed (if that is the right word) to fit a price point a large proportion is relatively young spirit and just isn’t mature enough to stand up to the oak. I think for now I’ll stick to the 12 yearold, but if this is indicative of the quality of the spirit being produced (which I know it is) I would love to see this at 10 or 12 years of age.

Bruichladdich ‘The Classic Laddie’ Scottish Barley 50%

Batch 16/003

A vatting of 84 casks, 4 vintages, 2 barley types and 6 casks

8 casks, 2005, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st fill American Bourbon Barrel

8 casks, 2007, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st fill American Bourbon Barrel

12 casks, 2008, Organic Scottish Mainland Barley, 2nd fill Red Bandol hogshead

5 casks, 2008, Organic Scottish Mainland Barley, 2nd fill Red Cote Rotie barrel

6 casks, 2008, Organic Scottish Mainland Barley, 2nd fill Red & White Rivesaltes

24 casks, 2008, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st fill American Bourbon Barrel

8 casks, 2006, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st fill American Bourbon Barrel

5 casks, 2007, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st fill Pauillac hogshead

4 casks 2007, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st fill American Bourbon Barrel

4 casks, 2006, Scottish Mainland Barley, 1st Fill Red burgundy hogshead

Tasted: Sept 2016

The nose displays some mature, earthy and malty notes, which mingle with some younger, biscuity notes. A little chunky and maybe lacking a little elegance but the barley through to add some sweetness along with some spicy wine notes. With time the oak becomes quite creamy.

The palate is full and malty with hints of earth, Bovril, treacle and red wine notes. Again chunky and foursquare with barley and subtle oak notes. Hints of salt and wood spice come through on the middle. Long and remaining malty with the coastal notes building to a lovely salty crescendo.

Bruichladdich ‘Scottish Barley’ 50%

Spirit distilled between 2003-2007

Bourbon

Tasted: Sept 2013

Quite a shy, fresh and lightly earthy nose with hints of malt and youthful rose petal marc and dusty tannins. There is some embryonic salty, honeysuckle and white fruit but it takes a while to show. With time it becomes sweeter as the honey and barley emerge along with some lightly coffee’d spice. However the overall impression is that there is a lot more younger than older spirit here.

The palate is fairly full and fleshy with some tart citrus, rock salt and lightly oily cereal. The oily cereal and rose petal marc character builds, as does the alcohol! A big, briny, malty and lightly coffee’d middle tails off into quite a dry finish with some lingering chocolate/ malty notes lingering. In conclusion I’d say that some of the usual elegance has been lost in favour of a more malty/ brawny style.

With water the nose is still very youthful and lightly soapy but it does now show a degree of coastal and critic elegance. Less oily and malty with more of the classic green apple and honeysuckle noticeable. The palate is a little vague to begin with but more coastal. Sweeter and more elegant with some sugar coated barley and crystalised orange. Long, salty finish with some lightly oiled rose petal notes appearing at the end. Maybe it should have been bottled at 46%?

 


Bruichladdich 2006 (6 year old) ‘Islay Barley’ 50%

Bourbon/ Dist: 2006 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Aug 2012

A crisp, yet pungent nose of cereal with a touch of rose petal marc. Delicate and salty with hints of honeysuckle, malt, earth and rich apricot. The aromas have a lovely natural feel to them and with time there is a light peat and farmyardy note.

The palate is lightly oiled with sweet cereal and straw. Nascent honey is intertwined with some white flowers and rose petal notes. Intense and mouth-watering middle with a continuation of the delicate rose petal marc notes. Good length with a dry, salty, slightly peaty finish. Like the nose it has a distinct natural, albeit youthful feel to it.

Bruichladdich Islay Barley ‘Rockside Farm’ 2007 (6 year old) 50%

Optic Barley/ Bourbon/ Tasted: Sept 2013

Youthful and gristy on the nose with a distinct earthy, herbal, bog myrtle note along with some sweet honey coated barley. Dense but edgy, although not too edgy with hints of manure and loamy peat. It has a lovely, sort of old skool Caol Ila freshness.

Crisp and clean on the palate with green apple, barley and honeysuckle. Freash and briny with a light oiliness and a lovely depth of slightly earthy barley and loamy peat. Very coastal on the middle with the barley becoming pleasantly sweet. Lovely texture and length with the finish slightly masked by the alcohol.

Diluted the nose become quite citric with a light sherberty note and some crunchy honeycomb emerging. Very beguiling and lightly coastal. The palate opens a little watery but it’s still quite elegant wit hints of sweet barley. Very gentle and coastal with a rock pool vegetation like finish. Very enjoyable.

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2009 (7 year old?) 50%

Tasted: Nov 2016

A heavy and cereally nose with an almost balsamic note. Hints of grist, malt and honeysuckle appear. It’s a fairly robust and chunky nose, maybe not as aromatic as bottlings from the past with a touch of vanilla and salt.

The palate is full and malty with barley, citrus, salt, vanilla and coffee. Again it has a very natural feel to it and a very salt middle. Long, with honeysuckle and lingering coffee and cereal. It’s less polished than older bottlings, so one wonders if this ‘natural’ character is the new order?

 


Bruichladdich 7 year old ‘Waves’ 46%

Bourbon – Malmsey Madeira Cask/ Tasted: July 2006

Stocks of the 10 yearoldare now coming to an end as theyare reaching the point at which the distillery was almost silent. So this 7 yearold made from malt peated to 20ppm represents a three month period when Jim Beam Brands were running the distillery continuously in order to attract a buyer, and for two of those months they were using medium peated malt as opposed to the more usual lightly peated.

The peat is evident on the nose from the word go. Thankfully there is very little influence from theMadeiracask – It just hovers in the background adding a touch of smoke, rich coffee/ toffee fruit and roasted ginger. Quality wise it reminds me of the very young Ardbeg, but judicious use of theMadeiracask has given it an added edge.

On the palate, again the peat open the proceedings, which is softer than the nose suggests, slightly medicinal with a whiff of smoke and coastal fruit. Finally theMadeirafruit comes through on the finish. Obviously this is very young, but there is no ‘off the still’ notes and it is crisp and clean with soft peat and an extra dimension given to it by the Madeira cask. Highly recommended!

Bruichladdich ‘New Waves’ 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: Dec 2008

Quite delicatearomas. Although the peating level is relatively light the aromas are quite dominant. Behind lurks some youthful coastal fruit, oil, bog myrtle and fisherman’s sowesters. It actually reminds me of Caol Ila with that fresh, garden like herbaceous quality. Over time some ripe apricot, apple and a perfumed top note become apparent.

On the palate it is delicately oily, and more broader than the nose would suggest. Definitely more Laddie in character, opening with slightly creamy apricot and cereal, followed by coastal spray and light herbal-peat. Youthful but with a lovely intensity and piquancy on the middle with a peat smoke and coal dust finish.

 

 


Bruichladdich 2001 (7 year old) ‘Resurrection’ 46%

Bourbon – Limited Release of 24000 Bottles to celebrate the first distillation by Jim McEwan. Peated to 10ppm.

Tasted: Dec 2008

Crisp, classic, floralaromas of citrus and honey. However it seems to display a greater roundness of character than the pre-Jim era. More polished and succulent. A lovely waft of juicy orange greets the nose and is all set against a delicate, earthy-peat and coastal background.

The palate follows the nose, with a gloriously polished depth of crisp, honeyed barley, malt, honeysuckle, apples and yet more honey. There’s some joyful, crumbly peat, cinnamon and dried spices on the mid palate it finishes with a coastal flourish.

Bruichladdich ‘The Laddie Eight’ 50%

Travel Retail/ Tasted: July 2016

Nose: Vibrant and lightly floral with hints of cereal, rose petals, boiled sweets and coffee laced peat. Darkens with time as malt and treacle appears. Late hints of earth/ dunnage and salt.

Palate: Opens with soft, crumbly coffee’d peat, vanilla and barley. Like the nose it darkens as the treacle, malt and tar comes through on the middle. Subtly coastal with a lovely degree of peat.

Finish: Seriously long and treacly with malt, boiled sweets, manure, rose petals and salt.

Conclusion: Now, that is an impressive finish! Robust, malty and full of character.

Bruichladdich 10 Year Old 46%

60% American Oak/40% Refill Sherry/ Tasted: May 2003

An assertive, youthful, flowery nose of biscuit, honeysuckle, green apples, pearand oak, with a hint of salt. On the palate it is a straightforward toasty malt, succulent with fresh citrus, tangerine and orange flavours and a fresh finish.

Bruichladdich 10 year old (Second Edition) 50%

Tasted: Dec 2016

A full and malty nose with a touch of dried fruit, apricot, apple and honeysuckle. Closer in style to the current ‘classic’ than laddie of old. However there is a lovely hint of tangerine, vanilla, salt and sugar coated barley.

Full and malty with hints of baked apple, apricot, barley and crisp citrus. Very salty middle with a touch of wood spice. Again along the lines of the NAS ‘Classic’ but with more elegance. Continuing salty through the finish with lingering baked fruit, vanilla, wood spice and salt.

Bruichladdich 12 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: July 2006

Ah, I love this nose. Classic Bourbon oaked young Laddie! With those familiararomas of honeysuckle, green apples and coastal notes. There is a touch more complexity that the old 10 yearold. It develops a lovely creamy vanilla and light toffee notes along with a touch of orange/ tangerine fruits.

Dry on the palate, initially quite salty with the honeysuckle and vanilla fruit laced with a delicate spice. Softer and a bit more rounded than with less of the ‘Sauvignon-esque’ character of the 10 yearold, and much more spicier, but it retains the lovely crisp nature which makes it such a good aperitif whisky.

Bruichladdich 15 Year Old 46%

85% American Oak/15% First Fill Oloroso Cask/ Tasted Feb 2003

A very complex nose. Initially it is quite fruity and biscuity with hints of the sea and smoke. After awhile it opens up beautifully, to display stunningaromas of flowers, oily fudge, crème caramel and sherry.

Initially it is quite sweet on the palate, with lots of fruit and digestive biscuits followed by an intense salty mid palate which fades into a smooth tropical fruit and butterscotch finish.

Bruichladdich 15 year old Second Edition 46%

Ex Bourbon cask, which has spent a further 25 weeks finishing in ex Chateau Yquem casks.

Tasted: Dec 2005

Lovely maturing aromas of floral, earthy, apricot, apple, crème brulee, vanilla and a delicate toffee digestive, sweet note along with orange blossom and a touch of salinity.

Off-dry on the palate with a lovely balance and complexity. Delicate with soft apricot, apple, orange spice and creamy oak, drifting into a lightly peated, smoke and coastal fruit finish, leaving a delicate sweetness and just a suggestion of the Sauternes cask. Lovely mouth feel and very long.

Bruichladdich 16 year old ‘Chateau Yquem Finish’46%

Tasted: Dec 2008

Whoa! Is this really Laddie? The aromas are more akin to an old Glenrothes, full of rich, mature honey, old leatherarmchairs and dusty libraries. In fact it’s immensely honeyed, as my notes say honey to die for. A late touch of rich, orange fruit attempts to add a layer of complexity.

The palate is luxurious and pretty much like the palate, although a greater degree of distillery character is discernable. A lovely sliver of crisp barley keeps it from being overtly sweet and flabby. Lovely depth of … er… mature honey! Finishes with that distinctive coastal conclusion.

Bruichladdich 16 year old ‘Chateau Lafleur Finish’ 46%

Tasted: Dec 2008

Stylishly sweet on the nose with strawberries, redcurrants and a hint of peat. These chunky yet subtlearomas float over a bedrock of rich, honeyed, mature, coastal Laddie. The impression is that it is older then 16 years. The palate opens with red wine notes, yet theyare well integrated with the crisp, salty honey and spices. Delicate and not as expansive as the nose and where the nose gave an impression of age the palate is quiet youthful. Lovely length with a soft spicy finish.

Bruichladdich 16 year old ‘Chateau Haut Brion’ Finish 46%

Tasted: Dec 2008

Subtle to the point of non-existence. There’s a suggestion of spicy red cherries but the mature Laddiearomasare in the ascendancy. The palate is like the nose, subtle and unforgivingly tannic. The tannins come crashing down like a portcullis and that’s about it, well apart from the slight hessian note on the finish.

Bruichladdich 16 year old ‘Chateau Lafite Finish’ 46%

Tasted: Dec 2008

Initially the very subtle wine cask notesare evident with some strawberry and redcurrant with a soupcon of dry spices. This is followed by the wonderfully mature honey and barley with a dusting of vanilla.

The palate opens with a subtle, playful hint of rose oil and petals with a slight gristy cereal note. The drying tannins come in quiet forcibly but this time they are balanced to perfection the onrushing tidal wave of spice red fruits. The length is superb and the delightful mature honey flavours return to caress the tongue and exit with the usual coastal conclusion.

Bruichladdich 16 year old ‘Chateau Margaux Finish’46%

Tasted: Dec 2008

This must be the best red wine finish I have ever tasted. Pretty much perfection. It’s aromatic and feminine aromas stoke the senses like a silk glove! Perfumed aromas of cherries and pomegranates rise from the glass, deftly floating over the base of mature Laddie. A truly magical blend of cask and spirit.

The palate is a mirror of the nose. Feminine, succulent and full of pure maraschino cherries, strawberries, which float delightful upon a wave of coastal, biscuity rich Laddie. The integration is stunning, as is the length.

Bruichladdich 16 year old ‘Chateau Latour Finish’ 46%

Tasted: Dec 2008

Subtle, yet possibly not as subtle as the Haut Brion finish. Probably the creamiest nose of all the finishes but one is left a bit underwhelmed. Very earthy on the palate with hard red fruits and hints of sweet strawberries. Like the Haut Brion it is very tannic and drying yet it does have a bit of a coastal length and a spicy, piquant finish.

Bruichladdich 17 Year Old 46%

100% American Oak/ Tasted Dec 2003

Wow, what a nose. Where to start describing it. It is extremely complex with aromas of sweet cereals, vanilla, green apples, pear and grapes, a hint of spice and a mere whiff of the sea. The palate again begins with lots of super smooth, sweet malty flavours, then the fruits evolve on the tongue with a wonderful freshness all wrapped up in a pure, oily, maple syrup sweetness. Yet it never becomes cloying due to the impeccably balanced acidity

 

Bruichladdich 17 year old Rum finish 46%

Tasted: Nov 2009

A big, sweet, honeyed nose, which reminds me of the Springbank rum wood. Quiet earthy with a touch of fishy-coastalness. A hint of peat attempts to break through the complexity of honey aromas – acacia, lehua and orange blossom and gentle crumbly spices.

The palate has a lovely, light oily texture. Gently tropical with apricot and honeysuckle. The finishing cask is less conspicuous and adds a beguiling sweetness to the banana, citrus fruit and allows the crisp, coastal character to assert itself. The finish is particularly coastal with hints of peat, coffee and fish oils, but still the rum cask notes linger as does the lovely mature honey. Superb stuff!

Bruichladdich 1992 (17 year old) Fino Sherry finish 46%

Aged for 15 years in American oak and finished for 2 years in Fino casks from Bodegas Fernando de Castilla.

Tasted: Nov 2009

Well this is all about the fino sherry cask to begin with. Buckets of grapey, salty green nuts, followed by a slightly dunnagey/ maurey note. The spirit attempts to asset itself but it is fighting a loosing battle here. Some lovely mature honey and coastal, fishy notes eventually break through.

The palate mirrors the nose. Opening with the grapey, woody, green nut and pure unbuttered cashew nut flavours. The tannins and alcohol dries out the middle and finish, as does the salt, and there is a lot of salt! Like the nose the spirit really doesn’t have a hope.

Bruichladdich 1992 (17 year old) Pedro Ximinez Sherry finish 46%

Aged for 15 years in American oak and finished for 2 years in Pedro Ximinez casks from Bodegas Fernando de Castilla.

Tasted: Nov 2009

A deep, leafy nose of molasses and treacle with hints of hickory, earth and blood orange. Seems more peated than the Fino finished. Again it’s all about the PX cask, but like the Fino some fishy notes break through the thick layer of sherry.

The palate follows a predictable course – grape – hickory – honey – tannins, which really dries it out. The rampaging sweetness is nicely held in check by the coastal fishiness, but my god it’s a real battle, and eventually the finishing cask holds sway.

Bruichladdich 1998 (10 year old) Manzanilla cask 46%

Manzanilla/ Dist: 1998 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

This was one of five special casks which the whisky had been decanted into on 14 March 2000 from Bourbon casks. The nose was very rich and very intense with a dry nutty sharpness and plenty of sherried fruit aromas. The palate was fruity and tangy. Very intense on the middle. The trademark biscuit, fudge and vanilla flavours are conspicuous with an added sherry complexity.

Bruichladdich 18 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Willi Opitz Zweigelt Pinot Noir Trockenbeerenauslese

Tasted: Nov 2007

Ah ha! Another Laddie for the girls I think! After the relative success of the ‘flirtation’ the guys have decided once more to ‘pull the birds’ – so to speak!!!

The nose takes awhile to get going and as you would expect it is very sweet. I think I can just detect some floral spirit beneath the rich spicy apricot, peach, toffee and vanilla. The palate is much like the nose, very sweet and almost a like a liqueur with the tangy coastal spirit just about making an appearance in the end. In fairness this whisky is definitely not aimed at me and for what it is, it is very good.

Bruichladdich 1989 (19 year old) Black Art

Matured in American oak and a variety of wine casks. Only 6000 bottles world wide.

Tasted: Oct 2009

‘The dark alchemy of Bruichladdich’ – It says on the tin. And what a tin. I love it! – Ok I’m a bit of a sucker for all things gothic as you probably well know!

So is it all for show? Is it a case of aprons and funny handshakes and no trousers? Well, let’s see shall we!

Incredibly earthy and winey aromas greet the nose. There are spicy red fruits by the crucible full here with quite a sugary sheen to them. However some stinky/ manurey peat and hickory keeps it on the straight path. This is amazingly complex. Did I say it was spicy, it is! And they buzz around like a swarm of conjured homunculi (?). Underneath all this thick, viscous, winey alchemy is some wonderfully mature honeyed fruit, but the wine fights back with an amazing pure strawberry jam note, but hang on back comes the fishy coastalness! Oooh I could sniff this all night and I still wouldn’t get to the bottom of it!

The palate displays a lovely purity of spicy raspberry and pomegranate fruit, pepper, sherry wood and fishy peat before the alcohol wades in and that’s about it. I think this definitely needs a drop of water. I hope it weaves some magic!

And what theurgy does a splash of water bring? On the nose it conjures up a magical, beguiling liquid orange and mature honey note as the wine casks are banished to the background. It could pass for a rich Spey now! On the palate it accentuates (if possible) the glittering purity of the red fruits, so pure that you can almost taste the pips! However the downside is that the palate has become rather one-dimensional, short and a bit too sugary-sweet.

I had to re-taste this several times because after the magnificence of the nose the palate was to be honest a disappointment. I though maybe I wasn’t getting it, or that my palate had become jaded, but each time I came to the same conclusion, and to be honest at £80, there are other whiskies that I would be happier to recommend.

 

Bruichladdich 20 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: May 2003

The quintessential laddie nose. Amazingly windswept and coastal with a gentle mellowness of soft appley fruits, spice and vanilla oak. The palate has a lovely oily, malty mouth feel with a beautiful depth of mature fruit, oak and salt. For all it’s mellowness it is quite powerful and assertive, with a mature floral/ blossom note on the finish

Bruichladdich 20 year old Second Edition ‘Flirtation’ 46%

Bourbon – Mourvedre/ Tasted: Oct 2004

A clean quite perfumed nose. Lashings of creamy Bourbon oak, cereals, mature wood, dunnage floors and mature fruit rise from the glass, with an additional spicy/ winey note.

Dry on the palette. Initially the most noticeable aspect is the slight winey sweetness of the mourvedre casks, followed by a tangy complexity of mature fruit, oak and earth. Then out of nowhere comes this incredible burst of tandoori/ asaian spice spices, finishing with waves of sweet vanilla, smoke, earth and a touch of peat.  The finish is incredibly long. Laddie goes to Bombay!

Bruichladdich 20 year old Third Edition 46%

Bourbon – Madeira/ Tasted: June 2006

Clean, obviously mature aromas from the rich Madeira cask greet the nose – sweet dried fruit, then the coastal freshness of the laddie just below the surface emerges with crisp honeysuckle and clean bourbon oak notes.

Very soft on the palate, juicy and sexy with dried fruit, figs, California raisins and spiced fruitcake. Oily and weighty with some wood tannins gripping, Finally the coastal fruit and malt just about comes through and definitely lingers with hints of herbs, coffee and gingerbread. The Madeira cask has definitely added weight but thankfully not swamped the spirit.

Bruichladdich 21 year old (Second Release) 46%

Oloroso Sherry/ Tasted: Sept 2008

Welcome back old friend it has been awhile. This is a big rich sherry monster and it would appear that an odd rouge sulphurous cask has slipped in here. The nose is rich and sherried with velvety orange and apricot fruit, raisins, nuts and dried fig aromas. The spirit struggles to break through and briefly pokes it’s smoky/ bog myrtley/ coastaly head above the parapet before being once again swamped by rich toffee and pure Colombian and chocolate notes. The complexity is exceptional.

The palate is super smooth and soft, like the nose there is a huge amount of sherry wood and tannins. Quiet heavily peated for such an old laddie and it is well into the mid-palate that the distillery character of toffee apple, crumbly spice, bog myrtle and medicinal peat begins to assert itself. The sherry sweetness returns on the finish, but this sweetness is marvellously kept in check by its rampant salinity. All in all an excellent expression, just slightly flawed, but with a palate like this that can be forgiven!

Bruichladdich 1984 Vintage 46%

Tasted: Dec 2003

The nose bears a resemblance to the 17 year old with the addition of nutty dried fruit aromas, and hints of cream and vanilla oak. The palate is fresh, clean and fruity, similar to the 17 year old, but with greater depth and  a slightly spicy character. The finish is very good with hints of light toffee and sherry wood on the finish.

Bruichladdich 1984 (22 year old) ‘Redder Stills’ 50.4%         

Bourbon – Chateau Lafleur Pomerol Cask/ Tasted: June 2006

There is very little of the wine cask evident on the nose, just a slight suggestion of herby black/red currants. What is more evident is its smokiness along with bitter chocolate, coffee, ginger bread, cinnamon and clove notes.

On the palate it is very sweet with the winey flavours initially pounding the taste buds with plumy black/red fruits, some strawberry conserve. The middle is quiet spicy with clove, cinnamon, ginger and a hint of pepper. The finish is long and fruity, obviously winey with some tannin at the very end. If you loved the previous ‘Blacker Still’ you will love this!

Bruichladdich 1973 (30 Year Old)

65% American Oak, 35% Refill Sherry.

A lovely, mellow, sherry tinged aromas with that classic, complex, Bruichladdich signature  of vanilla sweetness and a touch of briny sea air. Initially the quality, mellow oak engulfs the palate, leaving a complex array of flavours on the tongue, sweet  gingerbread, almond cake, stewed pears, honey glazed marmalade oranges, and finishes with a very long quiet warmth that denotes its elegant maturity.

Bruichladdich 1970 (32 year old) 44.2%

100% American Oak/ Tasted Dec 2003

The nose displays its obvious maturity with a complex melange of mellow, earthy aromas, butterscotch, orange, peach and apricot mingled with a hint of the sea air. On the tongue it is truly magnificent. Soft, smooth and silky on the palate. This whisky is so elegant and refined. The balance between the creamy oak and the nutty fruit is sublime.

Bruichladdich Legacy Series 1 1966 (36 year old) 40.6%

100% American Oak/ Tasted Dec 2003

Initially it displays an elegant mellow, aged oak aromas. This opens into quite a floral/perfumed nose of violets, honeysuckle, honeyed melon, apricots, soft ripe peach and crème caramel. The palate is incredibly complex, initial flavours of mature oak give way to an ethereal, balanced fruity middle with mature, dried fruit, nuts and crème caramel flavours. The balance between the flavours is remarkable. A Delicious combination of sweet fruit, subtle oak and sea air, with an almost endless finish.

Bruichladdich Legacy Series 2 37 Year Old 41.8%

50% American Oak, 50% Refill Sherry/ Tasted: Oct 2003

Luscious, silky, mellow fruit exudes from the glass. Sublime in the mouth, full of Amontillado laced oak, dried tropical fruit, a dash of vanilla, hints of glorious coconut milk, brandy butter, marshmallows and a tingle of lively lemon and Islay air have melded together beautifully to offer an extraordinary dram.

Bruichladdich 40 year old 43.1%

Bourbon Oak

The nose is stunning, rich, very complex, ephemeral and floral. Apricot, digestive biscuits and rich creamy butterscotch aromas dominate, with a touch of light oil and sea air. The palate is incredibly complex, soft and full with an ethereal balance. Honeyed apricots seeped in a harmonious, slightly smoky Islay liquor. The finish is absolutely delicious, very long, very smooth and very pure

 


Bruichladdich Organic 2003 46%

Tasted: Oct 2009

Powerful, youthful aromas of briny and fish with a hint of Bowmore-esque parma violets. The sweetness of the apple, pear, tropical banana and fleshy apricot builds pleasantly and a floral suggestion and light spice note can be detected. The oak begins to assert itself with a beautifully toasted crème caramel character.

On the palate it is crisp, lightly briny and fishy with cod liver oil, followed by gentle tropical fruit and youthful cereal/ barley, which has a lovely honeyed sheen. The alcohol and coastal intensity kicks in on the finish to leave a salt encrusted tropical finale. This is definitely more ‘old skool’ than the ‘Classic’ and I would love to see this at 10 years of age.

Bruichladdich ‘The Organic’ 46%

Tasted: Mar 2011

Very coastal and slightly phenolic aromas. Quite floral and becoming rather perfumed with time – hyacinth and honeysuckle with some crisp, brittle honey and barley. Lovely depth to the nose with the brininess swirling around a lovely malty/ honeyed core.

The palate is soft, gentle and rounded. A lot more youthful than one would have expected given the nose. Quite coastal with plenty of youthful cereal and hints of honeysuckle and perfumed white flowers. Not as deep and fruity as the 2003 bottling, but with a bracing fresh salinity. It does have some depth and the malty/ honey notes definitely linger. Good length with hints of rose water and pepper in the finish.

It’s good but the palate doesn’t have the depth that the nose promises and personally I would have continued to release it as a vintage rather than as a multi-vintage bottling.

 


Bruichladdich Links 14 year old ’16th Hole Augusta’ 46%

100% Refill Sherry/ Tasted: May 2004

Limited to 18,000 bottles world wide it is a lovely, fresh, crisp, floral nose similar to the 10 year old with the addition of a subtle sherry background. Unmistakably Laddie with honeysuckle, apples, pear, salt and a whiff of creamy bourbon. First up on the palate is the subtle sherry fruit, then that saline Laddie freshness, citrus, oil, bourbon and lashings of spice. Tangy and long with hints of digestives, finishing with a salty flourish.

Bruichladdich Links No Age Statement ‘Swilcan Bridge’ 46%

Tasted: Oct 2005

A very youthful and immature nose. Crisp fruit and smoke mingle with American oak and some almost re-fill sherry notes, but its feels far too young and a touch dirty/ animally. The palate is at best earthy, at worst dirty with no real fruit. Immature and vapid, definitely a disappointment

Bruichladdich Links 14 year old ‘Royal Liverpool Hoylake’ 46%

Bourbon – Rivesaltes (Grenache)/ Tasted: July 2006

The latest bottling in the links series is a stunner! It has a wonderfully complex nose. The vanilla oaked Laddie is wrapped in a delicate blanket of dried fruit, light coffee and spice. It has a lovely balance with no component over powering the other. Quite creamy with coastal notes wafting in.

Soft and smooth on the palate, again a superb balance between the vanilla oaked Laddie and the Rivesaltes finish. Superb complexity with oodles of spicy, delicate, dried orange fruit, fudge and dates. All the flavours are well integrated and it finishes with lashings of coastal notes.

Bruichladdich Links 14 year old ‘Carnoustie’ 46%

Bourbon – Chateau Haut-Brion/ Tasted: Nov 2007

A pleasant, crisp, classic Laddie nose of honeysuckle, green apples and costal notes along with a touch of cereal. There is very little of the wine cask evident on the nose, just a slight suggestion of herby red fruits and ginger spice. The palate pretty much mirrors the nose. The finish is very subtle and almost unnoticeable as the waves of costal fruit crash into the mid palate. Nice length with the coastal fruits gently ebbing away.

Bruichladdich Links 15 year old ‘Birkdale’ 46%

Bourbon Oak/ Tasted June 2008

Another wonderful, unfettered expression! My favourite! It has that classic ‘laddie nose of honeysuckle, green apples and lashings of coastal notes. It has a lovely depth of fruit, slightly tropical and buttery. The palate is crisp and briny. Fleshy with honeysuckle, green apples, a slight spice and floral note. Lovely length with a touch more maturity than the 12 year old and a pure sea salt finish.

Bruichladdich Links 15 year old ‘St Andrews’ 46%

Bourbon – Madiera(?)/ Tasted: Oct 2008

A very winey (Madeira?) nose with honey, apricot, butterscotch and shortbread biscuit notes which definitely says Madeira finish to me! There is a barly descernable coastal character somewhere beneath all that butter. The palate is pretty much like the nose. Good length if a bit one dimensional. Actually it’s all cask and alcohol really!

 


Bruichladdich Infinity 55.5% £40.95 

Refill Sherry

A youthful nose of rich, oily, lusciously spiced, honey, dates and dried fruit, with a deep marmalade complexity of mature sherry notes. All set against a gently earthy/ peat/ sea air background.

Medium bodied with the youthful peat of the Port Charlotte greeting the palate initially, followed by waves of Oloroso fruit, earth, salt, smoke and honeyed oranges. Smooth and long with malty, wood flavours on the finish. Water brings out the floral honeysuckle aromas and softens the palate emphasising its creamy spiciness and its coastal character, especially on the finish.

Bruichladdich Infinity Second Edition 46%

Bourbon – Rioja/ Tasted: July 2006

The first edition contain malts that were peated to around 13-15ppm, whereas the second edition is peated to 20ppm

Initially on the nose it is very winey and faintly astringent, but once these vague red wine aromas have passed it is actually quite pleasant. It has loads of earthy/ bog myrtle, peat, charcoal, a touch of TCP and gentle, delicate fruit and smoke.

On the palate however it is frankly disappointing. It opens up with a mouthful of winey tannins and wood followed by loads of evolving peat flavours, moving from softly smoky peat through to vegetation/ bog myrtle peat. But, the problem is that it seems hollow and it left me cold. There is a distinct lack of fruit and depth, and it certainly doesn’t have the charm of the 7 year old.

Bruichladdich Infinity Third Edition 50%

A multi vintage bottling of a selection of Refill Sherry and Tempranillo casks.

Peated to 20ppm

I have no idea what the moon has to do with infinity, maybe it’s because it lives in the infinite reaches of space? Either way I love the packaging. I mean you have to hand it to these guys; they have the art of presentation completely sussed! Anyway what does it taste like? (bearing in mind that I wasn’t a fan of the 2nd edition)

The nose opens with leafy sherry and a deep, herbal fishiness along with a touch of peat. I guess as this is a controlled vatting rather than a finish that the winey, tempranillo aromas are quiet subtle and just adds a top note. The peat aromas build to a lovely sooty crescendo and we’re now in stinky Islay territory – brine, iodine and bog myrtle. This is amazingly good. The palate shows a greater degree of winey-ness, but the strength of the fishy peatiness soon puts paid to that. Wow, what a middle! Spicy and a bit tart, but flooded with a lovely mouth filling melange of all things Islay – Fisherman’s friends, menthol, bog myrtle-peat and oodles of fresh iodine (of the Laphroaig persuasion!). Strewth this has become medicinal. Like I said all those ‘Islay’ flavours boot the sherry and wine into touch, but they are still there adding a delightful touch of coffee-spice and red fruits to the finish. Stunning balance!

 


Bruichladdich Peat 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: Sept 2008

Another new ‘multi-vintage’ bottling. This time the peating levels have been increased to around 35ppm which shows on the nose with a phenolic intensity of medicinal peat and rubbery fisherman’s garments. A classic peated Islay. Yet it is definitely not one dimensional. The Islay notes are backed by classic laddie bourbon coated apple and orange fruit.

The palate is lovely, full of the most crumbliest, flakiest ………. peat – hang on getting carried away here! But seriously young, medicinal and bog myrtle it may be but there’s a robust fruitiness to this malt, oh and did I mention the peat?? In conclusion it is youthful yet beautifully rounded, full of Islay charm!

 


Bruichladdich X4 89%

Advanced sample/ Tasted June 2006

So all the fuss aside, what does it taste like? On the nose there is a lot of alcohol (obviously) but once you have adjusted to it there are the unmistakable aromas of new make Bruichladdich, full of crisp apples and cereal aromas. It is delicate and elegant, less oily and heavy than their usual new make and had notes of marc like rose petals and straw.

On the palate it reinforced the marc-like quality with those straw and rose petal notes. It is light and elegant and quite floral for a laddie.

When a drop of water was added it brought out glorious aromas of sweet digestives and cereal and gave the fruit a lovely sweetness. On the palate it really emphasised the rose petals, natural oils and brought some delicate sweet spices to the forefront, which escalated and lasted into a seriously spicy finish.

Bruichladdich X4 50%    

Tasted: Dec 2008

The perilous, quadruple distilled whisky has finally been bottled. Wonderfully crisp and rounded aromas of cereal, herbal honey and a slight floral, rose petal marc-like note all set against the ever present cereal background. Magnificently clean with a pleasant touch of sweetness and spice.

The palate has a greater sensation of sweetness. Seductively oily, opening with the malty/ biscuity goodness followed by cereal, marc and light spice. The sweetness builds on the middle to a sugared candy quality and finishes with a piquant liquorice-spiciness and a coastal flourish. You will either love or hate this!

Bruichladdich X4+3 63.5%

Tasted: Oct 2009

The nose offers up a lot of American oak – vanilla, toffee, butterscotch and American cream soda. The spirit itself has become more neutral in character and has lost that raw cereal character. On the palate the oak is less intrusive and that cereal note is very much in evidence. The alcohol masks the mid palate and the rushes into the space with toffee and caramel notes. Finally a touch of classic honeysuckle arrives.

With water the oak is pushed back on the nose and the soft, succulent cereal notes are more noticeable. On the palate it reminds me more of the first edition and the floral Bruichladdich character shines through as the oak plays a supporting role.

It’s not as candied or as coastal as the first edition, but I found that with more oak character it seems more rounded and personally I preferred it.

 


TASTED FROM CASK AT THE DISTILLERY IN 2003

Bruichladdich Rum Cask 2001 (2 years old at the time of tasting)

Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

A very spirity nose, wheaty and malty, which hasn’t surprisingly picked up anything from the cask at this moment in time. The palate is very much the same with nascent fruit but quite a fair amount of spice!

Bruichladdich 1998 (5 year old at the time of tasting)

Bourbon

Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

The nose is incredibly young, very spirity, wheaty/grainy and biscuity, with that almost of the still pungency. Being just a mere five years old it is to be expected. On the tongue it is very oily, tangy and spirity with those malty/wheaty/cereal, just off the still flavours very evident.

Bruichladdich Manzanilla Cask 1998 (5 year old at the time of tasting)

Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

This was one of five special casks which the whisky had been decanted into on 14 March 2000 from Bourbon casks. The nose was very rich displaying a marked similarity to the 1990 Mortlach. Very intense with a dry sharpness and sherried fruit aromas. The palate was fruity and tangy. Very intense on the middle. The trademark biscuit, fudge and vanilla flavours are conspicuous with an added sherry complexity.

Bruichladdich Oloroso Cask 1986 (17 year old at the time of tasting)

Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

A very heavy, rich oloroso nose, displaying a marked similarity to the 1998 Manzanilla cask, but with an abundant, oilier character. On the palate it was rich and smooth, yet intensely tangy acidity, sherried fruit and a very distinct salty character. The finish was very long and lingering with hints of digestive biscuits on the finish.

Bruichladdich 1970 (33 year old at the time of tasting)

Bourbon

Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

A good fruity nose, quite floral with marzipan, salt, angelica, white fruit along with a touch of lightly oiled crème caramel. The palate is clean and fruity and mirrors the nose with white fruit, angelica and a touch of crème caramel and biscuits. Very soft, refined, elegant and harmonious with a lovely texture. Very long with a lightly creamy finish.

Bruichladdich 1964 (39 year old at the time of tasting)

Bourbon

Tasted: 2003 (from cask)

What a find, nestling in a dusty corner was this little gem. The nose is stunning, rich, very complex, ephemeral and floral. Apricot, digestive biscuits and rich creamy butterscotch aromas dominate, with a touch of light oil and sea air. The palate is incredibly complex, soft and full with an ethereal balance. Honeyed apricots seeped in a harmonious, slightly smoky Islay liquor. The finish is absolutely delicious, very long, very smooth and very pure.

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