Archive for the ‘Bruichladdich’ Category

North Star Spirits Bruichladdich 2002 (15 year old) 57.1%

Radoux French Oak (ex Bordeaux?)/ Dist: July 2002 Btl: Sept 2017/ Tasted: Oct 2017

Dark and malty aromas with an almost sherry-like richness. Hints of heavy treacle/ syrup, vanilla and subtle red wine notes. Very subtly peated with the sweet, but grippy oak in the background.

The palate is rich and dark. Slightly syrupy with dark fruit, malt and hints of red berries. Again the oak is quite grippy and slightly spicy with hints of salt and earth coming through. Long with a subtle peatiness, drying tannins, green oak and lingering sweet bbq sauce.

A drop of water makes the nose a little soapy and the palate becomes a little vague, but emphasises the grippy/ spicy oak.


Malts of Scotland Bruichladdich 2003 (10 year old) 56.3%

First Fill (?) Sherry Hogshead – MOS13051/ Dist: Jun 2003 Btl: Oct 2013/ Tasted: Nov 2014

A serious nose full of what must be first fill Oloroso. Very clean and leafy with liquorice, treacle, tar and a touch of brandy butter. It’s all sherry, which isn’t a surprise with developing green nuts, tobacco and dried fruit.

The palate opens with an intensity of green nuts, dried fruit, liquorice, treacle and tar. So thick and unctuous you could slice it up and serve it for desert! Again there is zero distillery character or  coastal character for that matter. There is a very minor blemish noticeable on the middle, which unfortunately lingers. Quite a dry, tannic, tart after-taste.

Oh dear. A drop of water brings out that struck match note on the nose. However it is less noticeable on the palate now. It is a homogenous sherry palate, it could be any from distillery and ultimately is rather disappointing.

Claxton’s The Single Cask Bruichladdich 2005 (11 year old) 57.2%

Ex Rioja Cask 1605-1052/ Dist: July 2005 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

A very earthy nose of damp soil and bruised cherry fruit. Hints of syrup and a balancing coastal thread. With time a touch of malt, smoke, sweet barley and citrus appears.

The palate is earthy like the nose with hints of hessian, syrup and coffee. Tawny, aged red fruit, barley and salt follow but the coffee notes power through on the middle. Long and lightly peated with a lovely salt encrusted finish.

A drop of water emphasises the peat, straw and earthy fruit. On the palate it emphasises the juicy, syrup coated fruit and earth.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company Bruichladdich Batch 1 49.6%

Tasted: July 2014

Nose: Very grainy with a spirit nip. Sharp citrus, light dusty barley, brittle honey and grainy oak follow. Lightly leafy and herbal with hints of baked fruit and tobacco. Water emphasises the citrus and brings out a perfumed note.  

Palate: Opens with some soft vanilla ice cream and barley. Succulent and juicy with a touch of apricot and some lightly tannic oak notes. Water unfortunately turns it into sugar water!  

Finish: Quite hot, gritty and tannic. Water again makes it rather sugary.  

Conclusion: Dilution does it no favours!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bruichladdich 2003 (12 year old) 50%

Bourbon Barrel/ Code: OMC2533/ HL12144

Dist: Nov 2004 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Jan 2016

The aromas are quite gritty with coal dust and phenolic, briny peat. Lovely intensity and depth with some barley and baked fruit beneath the stinky, manurey peat.

The palate opens with the sweet-ish barley and slightly toffee’d oak, before the gritty, raw peat and dry some comes through. Very slight coastal note on the middle. Long and citric with coffee, gritty peat smoke, smoked meat, sweet peat and a touch of violets on the finish.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bruichladdich 1988 (25 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2263/ Dist: Feb 1988 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

A gorgeously fresh and mature nose of lightly briny baked apple and barley. Fragrant and floral with hints of honeysuckle, apple blossom, green apple, under ripe banana, guava and honeydew melon. Oooh! It’s becoming very tropical now! Stunningly fruity with a background of subtle yet mature oak. Light, duty spices mingle effortlessly with the lightly creamy oak vanillins.

Lightly creamy oak to begin with on the palate with a touch of butter toffee, then the green apple, banana, honeydew melon follows. The drying spices an oak come through on the middle with a little salt but the fruit return brining hints of barley, straw and citrus. Very, very long with hints of white liquorice, light coal dust, sweet dusty spices and dark chocolate on the finish. A superb, old ‘laddie!

Douglas Laing Xtra Old Particular Bruichladdich 1991 (25 year old) 54.6%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: XOP0064/ Dist: May 1991 Btl: June 2016/ Tasted: Nov 2016

Aromas of sea air and honeysuckle along with hints of vanilla, baked apple and gentle citrus notes, all gently dusted with castor sugar. Beautifully mature with a touch of dunnage and malt.

Fresh and citric on the palate with hints of vanilla, salt and subtle baked fruit. Bracing and briny on the middle with developing apple, apricot, honeysuckle and lightly coffee’d tannins. Intense and continuing salty on the finish but a touch of mature honey and malt balances. Superb length with lingering baked apple and salt. A classic, mature ‘laddie!


Douglas Laing Old Particular Bruichladdich 2005 (11 year old) 48.4%

Sherry Hogshead/ Code: OL|D0385/ DL11509

Dist: June 2005 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Jan 2017

The nose is unfortunately a little dirty, dusty and balsamic with young, rose petal marc and burnt coffee. A little disconnected with some late treacle, cinnamon and burnt raisinated fruit.

The palate is coffee’d and balsamic with treacle and marc notes. Like the nose it is disconnected and a little rough. Thick, sugary, molasses sweetness with burnt spice on the middle. Good length with lingering sherried dried fruit, marc and finally a very subtle peat note. This really could have done with more time in the cask.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Bruichladdich 2005 (12 year old) 48.4%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0487/ Dist: Jun 2005 Btl: Jun 2017/ Tasted: Oct 2017

A dark-ish and malty nose with coffee and subtle oxidised fruit. Gently earthy with hints of dark marzipan and camphor. Lightens with time as a touch of honeysuckle and cream emerges.

The palate opens with the creamy oak and barley. Like the nose it darkens as the coffee and malt arrives. Good, ripe fruit middle with a gentle saltiness. Long and lighter as the barley comes through with apricot, peach and pear to finish. Lovely progression.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Bruichladdich 2005 (12 year old) 48.4%

Sherry Hogshead/ CODE: OLD0544/ DL12197

Dist: Jun 2005 Btl: Dec 2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

Tarry, malty and gristy aromas with plenty of herbal Oloroso, burnt treacle and Balcones-esque burnt scrub and spices.

The palate is a little lighter but still pretty dark, malty, herbal and tarry. The burnt scrub notes are subtler but still noticeable. Lightly salted and treacly with a wild, tarry, burnt green wood finish. Very entertaining!

Douglas Laing Old Particular Bruichladdich 2002 (13 year old) 48.4%

Refill Hogshead/ Code: OLD0253/ Dist: Aug 2002 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

The nose opens with oily but sweet barley, liquorice, tar and phenolic (not peat) notes. Very coastal with lemon, digestive biscuits, hyacinth and violet notes developing. Classic, fresh, ‘Laddie.

The palate is soft and lightly citric with hints of biscuits and apricot, along with subtle peat and earth notes. Pleasantly fresh and very coastal on the middle. Medium length with barley, white fruit, salt and a touch of tar in the finish. All that’s lacking is a little wood character.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Bruichladich 1992 (20 year old) 50%

Sherry Finished/ Code: OMC2206/ Dist: Feb 1992 Btl: Dec 2012/ Tasted: Dec 2012

A beautifully mature nose. Slightly earthy and dusty. The sherry finish adds just a soupcon of dried Satsuma and grape and allows all that mature, delightful distillery character show. Hints of barley and salinity mingle with a touch of all-spice, light liquorice and baked apple. Superb stuff!

The palate is lightly salted and quite earthy with a touch of peat. The oils gently build along with some delicious sherry spices. Again the distillery character comes through with hints of baked apples and delicate citrus notes augmented by light dried grapey fruit. Very long with quite a thick, malty, slightly treacly finish along with hints of camphor, bog myrtle and drying spices.

Mackillop’s Choice Bruichladich 1992 (19 year old) 57.8%

Sherry Cask 1874/ Dist: 1992 Btl: March 2012/ Tasted: Aug 2012

The nose displays a soft intensity of Oloroso dried fruit, Colombian coffee, sweet, sun dried raisins, dates, treacle along with some balsamic notes. Yes it’s a case of cask 1 v Distillery Character 0! Yes there is a touch of sweet barley and some coastal notes, but its all sherry really, very clean sherry though. 

The palate opens with soft liquorice, dark toffee, raisins, dates, prunes and sherrywood spices. Quite tannic on the middle with the alcohol adding to the mouth-watering dryness. Good length with a coffee’d and  slightly coastal  nuanced finish. It’s fine if you like sherry monsters but I’m not getting any ‘Laddie elegance here. 

Water doesn’t make much of a difference to the nose, maybe there’s a touch of citrus now and more dusty spices. The palate is slightly sweeter with a touch of burnt caramel now evident, but like the palate there is no real change.

Bruichladdich Future – Trestarig 2005 (6 year old) 46%

Triple distilled from Publican Barley

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: Aug 2005 Btl: Apr 2011

Bottle No: 1075

Tasted: Nov 2011

The nose opens with a lovely, delicately sweet floral note. As expected it’s quite gristy with plenty of fishy, costal hints. Laddie’s new make can be quite biscuity and there is plenty of that evident here. There is not a huge amount of oak but what there is imparts some burnt caramel and a touch of butter. The aromas remind me of ‘Toshan, but cleaner! 

The palate is soft and quite rich in character with plenty of sweet digestive biscuits with light hints of pepper and caramel. There is a pleasant spicy bite on the middle with hints of burnt wood and linseed oil mingling with the biscuity notes. The barley sweetness holds all the way through and it finishes with the barest of coastal notes. 

Bruichladdich Future – X4 2005 (6 year old) 64.6%

Quadruple distilled from Oxbridge Barley

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: Mar 2005 Btl: Apr 2011

Bottle No: 1285

Tasted: Nov 2011

Quite a refined and high toned nose, but like the Trestarig there is plenty of sweet barley and biscuity notes. Obviously not as rich as the Trestarig but showing a touch more wood notes. 

The palate is sweet and gristy and (no surprise) alcoholic! In saying that it possesses a lovely softness in the mouth but given the abv it does finish short but spicy with just a touch of sweet digestive biscuit. 

With water the nose possibly becomes a tad sweeter along with hints of green apple and violets, still quite biscuity but the oak has vanished. On the palate the light, natural oils are more prevalent and just like the nose the oak has disappeared but it’s still wonderfully spicy. 

Bruichladdich Future – Islay Grown 2004 (6 year old) 46%

Distilled from Publican, Oxbridge and Optic Barley

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: Dec 2004 Btl: Apr 2011

Bottle No: 0982

Tasted: Nov 2011

Lightly phenolic with sweet peat and rose peatl notes mingling. Ever so slightly confected with hints of sweet digestive biscuits. With time some soft, ultra-ripe tropical pineapple appears. To me it puts me in mind of a peated ‘Toshan. Really intriguing! 

The palate is light and gentle with oodles of sweet barley and delicate Spey-like grassy notes and some green apple. The light phenolic notes of the nose do not seem to appear on the palate but it has a lovely, fresh, mouth-watering, slightly perfumed finish.

Bruichladdich Future – Organic 2003 (7 year old) 46%

Distilled from Maris Otter Barley

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: Dec 2003 Btl: Apr 2011

Bottle No: 2599

Tasted: Nov 2011

A surprisingly spirity, high toned and edgy nose, but I’m afraid that there is not a lot else, maybe some sweet orange and fishy peat, but this is way too young and displays absolutely no wood interaction. It definitely doesn’t display and fatness, which could be down to the organic barley having smaller grains resulting in less sugar after fermentation? 

The palate is soft and gentle with a distinct milky character. Pleasantly round with some sweet barley but overall quite straightforward and dare I say it a bit bland and short. I would have expected some grist and biscuitiness but there is none of that present. 

Maybe this is a more ‘natural’ whisky, but one thing is for sure it definitely needed more time in the cask. Another thought is that given that this is organic the low wines tank would have to have been cleaned of all non-organic spirit, thus this could have been the product of the first run, ie, without any feints or foreshots from any previous distillation being added, thus the level of congeners in the spirit would have been a lot less than a spirit that was say distilled during the middle of a run. I could well be wrong but it’s a thought? 

Bruichladdich Future – Octomore 2004 (6 year old) 60.5%

Distilled from Optic Barley. Peated to 167 ppm

Bourbon Cask/ Dist: Nov 2004 Btl: Apr 2011

Bottle No: 2249

Tasted: Nov 2011

A very briny, windswept, youthfully phenolic nose of bog myrtle-peat and iodine. Very rich, full and maurey but this is by no means a one dimensional peat monster, there is some lovely balancing macerated fruit with hints of ‘old skool’ Caol Ila fresh garden fruit and a sprinkling of coffee/ chocolate spices. A seriously concentratedIslaynose with some beautiful coastal oily moments. Given time in the glass it becomes seriously rich and unctuous with the young biscuity spirit reacting with the wood to impart an almost Madeira-esque ‘finishing cask’ character – It’s a bit like Caol Ila on steroids! 

The palate is very butch and oily with creosote and tar notes up first. Once the eye watering alcohol has passed some hot peppered mackerel, vanilla oak, bog myrtle and herb notes flow in as does some delightfully dry, dusty peat, and more peat, and yet more peat! Liberally coating the mouth with this stunning peaty/ tarry/ oily residue. Stunningly long with hints of burnt wood and mulchy vegeatation. 

With water the richness of the oak takes a bit of a back seat to the herbal, bog myrtle and manuery notes. On the palate it has become more rounded and chewy now the alcohol is lessened and hints of sub-tropical fruit, banana and white peach have now emerged. The oak has intensified and the rampant bourbon vanillins make this a monumentally spicy mouthful, but that peat cannot be tempered. Beautifully polished but still with a definite Islay rawness. 

I tasted it against the last distillery bottling 04.1 and that seemed almost thin in comparison with this monster, which leads me to believe that the futures bottling was matured in more active casks. Also the peat make up was a lot ‘wetter’ in character in the 04.1. Either way Octomore is the real deal!

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 ‘The Laddie’ 10 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Sherry

Tasted: Dec 2011

The nose is bursting with juicy fruit, sweet barley and some beautiful, shimmering coastal notes and a soupcon of peat. Very full and malty with some balanced, clean, sherry notes. Much fuller than the old 10 year old and less floral but lovely nevertheless.

 Soft and full on the palate. A beautiful melding of bourbon and sherry casks. Like the nose suggests it’s quite full with a slightly molassed dried fruit character along with hints of malt, cereal, light peat and a touch of honey. The middle is quite piquant, and accented by the gentle saltiness. Good length with the oak slightly bittering out the finish (adding some dark chocolate notes) but some beautiful liquid honey coated tropical banana tries to counter that, and just about succeeds.

Bruichladdich ‘The Laddie’ 10 year old 46% (Tescos card tube bottling)

Bourbon/ Tasted: Jan 2013

Aromas of sweet coastal fruit and a huge hit of cardboard! Hmm. This spirit hasn’t been matured in good wood! Quite muted with a touch of brine, ozone and light earthy-peat. 

The palate is also quite cardboardy with a touch of peat, liquorice and treacle. Not much in the way of fruit or character to be honest with a bitter, acerbic finish. Maybe this was just a bad batch, rather than an exercise in disposing of less than perfect spirit.

Bruichladdich ‘The Laddie’ 16 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: July 2013

A shimmering and evocative nose of lightly honeyed barley, apricot, sea spray and malt with hints of menthol, honeysuckle and creamy American oak. Wonderfully fresh with a touch of pineapple, melon and white grape. With time a lightly oiled marzipan note appears. 

The palate is gentle and soft, opening with the lightly sweetened barley, apricot and malt. Bracingly coastal with some sturdy, maturing American oak and honey. Very fruity on the middle with the mature apricot being joined by spiced banana, melon, toffee and pepper. Very long, intensely salty finish, which along with the alcohol and a touch of wood tannins makes it quite dry.

Bruichladdich ‘The Laddie’ 22 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A beautifully deep and mature nose of macerated bruised apple, barley, honey and malt accented by gentle honeysuckle and saline notes. Wonderfully balanced with just the right amount of sawdusty oak, mature wood spices and light treacle/molasses. With time it becomes quite floral and evocative with hints of orange, tangerine, guava and pineapple mingling with light smoke, fish and a touch of pine resin. All the time that lovely oak supports. Stunning! 

A beautifully mature palate – classic laddie! Gentle, elegant opening with malt, barley and a light wood spice note. Bruised apple, mature apricot, pear follows along with a building salinity which bursts on to the middle with a gentle piquancy. The sugars arrive with some gently creamy mature oak but the salinity is hanging in there, leading to a slat encrusted finish. Phenomenally complex and long… and the after-taste…………. Is………. Heaven….. Welcome back old friend, you have been missed!

Bruichladdich Black Arts 4 1990 (23 year old) 49.2%

Bourbon/ Finished in a variety of wine casks.

Tasted: Sept 2013

The nose opens with a big hit of salty, herbal, Oloroso notes with plenty of coffee’d tannins, a little Sauternes-esque honey and sawdusty American oak. Beautifully balanced as the American oak notes begin to dominate. But, like I said it is wonderfully balanced by the winey red fruits, plums, Satsuma, light treacle and with time hints of earth, salt, creosote along with some violet and white flowers. Wow this is just so sawdusty! It almost has me in mind of an old Glent Grant. All the winey notes are just a gossamer veil over the mature American oak aged ‘Laddie. 

The palate is soft and quite winey to begin with, showing red fruit, plum, raspberry and prune along with a touch of dark toffee, treacle, malt an dark chocolate. The herbal Oloroso notes build pleasantly bringing some coffee’d tannins too. This is followed by bucketful’s of salt, mature honey and lightly sawdusty oak. Sublimely silky with hints of tar, midnight violets, walnuts, chocolate and sweet spices. The tannins begin to encroach and dry but the sweet treacle/ honey axis holds and offsets. Lovely length with the malt and honey notes becoming quite nutty and lingering. Stunning stuff and probably the biggest surprise of the year.

Bruichladdich DNA3 1985 (25 year old) 50.1

Sherry/ Dist: 1985 Btl: 2011

The nose opens with the rich, slightly woody, nutty, mature sherry. Given its age the sherry aromas have a beautiful delicacy to it, giving way to a huge citrus coastal hit along with citrus, the sherry hangs on in there adding walnut, molasses/ treacle. It’s a magical combination of sea air, delicate floral honeysuckle spirit and wood. With time a hint of dunnage floors, peat, loam and touch of fishiness appears. 

The palate is soft and dry, opening with sweet liquorice toned mature sherry, nuts and dried fruit, shot through with an intensity of mouth-watering alcohol and salinity. Beautifully balanced and exceptionally long. An amazing mouthful of baked apples, almond, cinnamon, dark chocolate/ toffee, macerated orange along with a touch of peat and earth. Stunning length and ethereal like finish.

Speyside Distillers Private Cellar Bruichladdich 1991 (17 year old) 43%

Sherry Cask/ Tasted: Sept 2008

The nose is quiet closed and unexciting aromas of sherry, a touch of coastal, gentle smoke and peat. Delicate and sweet with orange sherried fruit and delicate smoke on the palate. The finish is mellow with a tangy coastal finish. In conclusion – It’s Mr Dull from Dullsville!