Whisky Review #8: Bruichladdich

For my eighth review, I will be showcasing the TEN (yes, I said TEN) whiskies that I had the privilege of trying at Bruichladdich during my visit. The whiskies are as follows:

1) Bruichladdich 22 Years Old PX – The Laddie Valinch 09. James McColl (50.7% abv)

2) Bruichladdich 1985 Bourbon Cask Sample (50.2% abv, Special pour from Mr Jim McEwan)

3) Bruichladdich Octomore Organic Virgin Oak Cask Sample (Unknown abv, Special pour from Mr Jim McEwan)

4) Bruichladdich Octomore First Edition 1.1 (63.5% abv, Special pour from Mr Jim McEwan)

5) Bruichladdich Cuvee 382 La Berenice 21 Years Old Sauternes Cask (46% abv, Dram 1, Cuvee Quiz)

6) Bruichladdich Cuvee 640 Eroica 21 Years Old Cognac Cask (46% abv, Dram 2, Cuvee Quiz)

7) Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 La Noche Boca Arriba 21 Years Old PX Cask (46% abv, Dram 3, Cuvee Quiz)

8) Bruichladdich The Laddie 16 (46% abv, Mystery Dram, Cuvee Quiz)

9) Bruichladdich Black Art Edition 4.1 1990 23 Years Old (49.2% abv, Cuvee Quiz prize dram)

10) Bruichladdich Octomore 7.2 Scottish Barley (58.5% abv)

The four drams which made up the Cuvee Quiz, with the Black Art Edition 4.1 in the foreground.
The four drams which made up the Cuvee Quiz, with the Black Art Edition 4.1 in the foreground.

Bruichladdich 22 Years Old PX – The Laddie Valinch 09. James McColl (50.7% abv)

Colour: Sherry red

Nose: A trio of raisins, stewed fruits and blackcurrants at the fore, with hints of warm spices such as cinnamon and aniseed. The sherry is very much in control. Oaky notes with hints of wood tannins and cocoa powder.

Palate: Rich and warming with a luxurious and slightly drying mouthfeel. Intense sherried sweetness with noticeable blackcurrant and plum influences. Spices emerge, with the cinnamon and aniseed most apparent. The spiciness is fleeting, before the wood tannins emerge.

Finish: Medium in length, with sweet sherried notes and cocoa powder intermingling wonderfully. Very well crafted dram.

Bruichladdich 1985 Bourbon Cask Sample (50.2% abv, Special pour from Mr Jim McEwan)

Colour: Bright gold

Nose: Bourbon sweetness with woody elements. Creme brulee, mint leaves and sweet malt. Clean and fresh on the nose. Wonderfully aromatic and enticing.

Palate: Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. Sweet malt and bourbon at the fore, with hints of salted caramel, boiled sweets also making an appearance. More sweetness with the creme brulee and some toffee. Clean and mouth-coatingly good. Slightly oily on the palate.

Finish: Bourbon sweetness still shines through, showcasing the quality of the cask. Quite sophisticated with no hint of the higher abv. Wonderfully complex and long on the finish, with a definite toffee richness. Wow, unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.

Bruichladdich Octomore Organic Virgin Oak Cask Sample (Unknown abv, Special pour from Mr Jim McEwan)

Colour: Mahogany

Nose: Clean and somewhat spicy, with peat smoke making an appearance. Camphor, mint lollies and maritime notes. Phenolic elements also present. Robust nose hints at a rather high abv.

Palate: Surprisingly soft and sophisticated for an Octomore, initially at least. Reminds me somewhat of the 4.2 Comus expression. Sweet malt and soft peat intermingle to inundate the palate with a smoky-sweet one-two punch. More smokiness emerges with hints of citrus and tobacco pouch. Drying mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and smoky, with the peat now in control. Cigar ash and beach bonfire. Very interesting dram that I will definitely be looking out for.

Bruichladdich Octomore First Edition 1.1 (63.5% abv, Special pour from Mr Jim McEwan)

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: Oily on the nose with peat at the forefront. Some winey notes intermingled with sea salt and lemon. Buttery with some anchovies and green fruits.

Palate: Oily mouthfeel, with a noticeable sharpness from the peat. Smoky peat, citrus and some phenolic elements. More of the sea salt from the nose, with a melange of spices. Almost overwhelmingly spicy on the tongue, although it eventually cools.

Finish: Smoky peat very much in control, although some sweetness does emerge towards the end. Licorice and salt towards the very end. Long and lingering finish. Utterly unforgettable.

Bruichladdich Cuvee 382 La Berenice 21 Years Old Sauternes Cask (46% abv, Dram 1, Cuvee Quiz)

Colour: Burnished copper

Nose: Grapes, some kiwi and just a hint of malt. Some spiciness with cinnamon and aniseed evident. Citrus notes with a winey character definitely noticeable. Somewhat nutty, with hints of almonds and some cashew.

Palate: Sweet malt with a pronounced winey character, courtesy of the Sauternes cask. Mouth-coatingly rich, with some toffee notes and grapes mingling beautifully. Smooth and sophisticated on the palate, with a slightly oily character. Definitely showcasing its age in the complexity of the palate.

Finish: Long, lingering and wonderful. The quality of the Sauternes cask is evident from start to finish. Wine gums and kiwi towards the end.

Bruichladdich Cuvee 640 Eroica 21 Years Old Cognac Cask (46% abv, Dram 2, Cuvee Quiz)

Colour: Bronze

Nose: Slightly spicy on the nose, with the Cognac influences shining through. Apricot, pears and even some straw on the nose, with hints of cocoa powder and toffee apple. Vanilla intermingled with some nutmeg, which is somewhat unusual but works quite well here.

Palate: Rich, dense and slightly spicy. A pronounced pear and apricot element on the palate, which slowly gives way to some orange flavoured chocolate, vanilla and a fairly noticeable malty note. Just a touch of maritime saltiness to the palate, which only increases the complexity.

Finish: Rich and complex, albeit slightly abrupt. More warming spices towards the end, with nutmeg and aniseed bringing things to a close.

Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 La Noche Boca Arriba 21 Years Old PX Cask (46% abv, Dram 3, Cuvee Quiz)

Colour: Blood red

Nose: Spicy and sweet in equal measure. The PX influence shines through, with hints of raisins and maraschino cherries in the nose. Chocolate shavings, aniseed, crushed cinnamon and some woody notes are also apparent.

Palate: Raisins, cherries and cinnamon on the palate. Wonderfully mouth-coating and rich. Slightly oily on the palate, with mouth-watering hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and sherried sweetness. The PX truly is the star in this and gives the whisky a rather intense edge.

Finish: Sherried sweetness intermingled with some oaky, malty notes and garnished with some warming spice. My personal favourite of the Cuvee series and also the reason why I purchased a bottle for my collection!

Bruichladdich The Laddie 16 (46% abv, Mystery Dram, Cuvee Quiz)

Colour: Straw

Nose: Initially clean, with some hints of barley sugar. Pineapple, melon and pear begin to emerge after a few moments, with some oaky and nutty notes. Banana and some floral notes as well. Quite a complex nose.

Palate: Oaky, malty goodness, with a bourbon sweetness and some vanilla. The fruits from the nose are also present, with the pineapple and banana most apparent. Barley sugar and some digestive biscuits also make an appearance, with some vanilla sweetness also creeping in.

Finish: Complex, warm, sophisticated and quite lengthy. It’s a pity that they have discontinued this as it is a phenomenal whisky!

Bruichladdich Black Art Edition 4.1 1990 23 Years Old (49.2% abv, Cuvee Quiz prize dram)

Colour: Deep red

Nose: Phwoah! Mixed berry compote, sweet malt, raisins and a winey note to this. Madeira cake, some sherried notes and a slight spiciness. Very complex!

Palate: Very complex and luxurious mouthfeel, with dried fruits and sweet malt intermingling beautifully. Slightly oily mouthfeel, with some spiciness. Nutmeg and cinnamon definitely playing a part. More of the mixed berry compote and some icing sugar.

Finish: Long, lingering and wonderfully sweet. The dried fruits are the star and the complexity is simply amazing. Well worth the outlay!

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.2 Scottish Barley (58.5% abv)

Colour: Gold

Nose: Smoky goodness mixed with some berries and sweet malt. Orange, heather and just a hint of salted fish. The Syrah influence is also quite apparent. Phenolic elements but somewhat tempered by the sweetness of the wine casks.

Palate: Smoky, sweet goodness, with the berries trading punches with the peat. Complex and slightly drying mouthfeel, with some barley sugar and creme brulee emerging midway. Floral notes and quite smooth on the palate. Just a hint of sea salt caramel.

Finish: The sweetness of the berries and the smokiness of the malt trade punches, with the latter eventually taking control. Long and lingering finish with with a slightly sweet smokiness bringing things to a close. Simply amazing.

Slainte!

Brendan

Facebook:

Twitter:

Instagram:

3 thoughts on “Whisky Review #8: Bruichladdich

  1. The Laddie 16 is discontinued?
    $#^%$&#^!
    ATTENTION DISTILLERS OF THE WORLD: STOP DISCONTINUING STUFF I LIKE.
    sincerely,
    yarradrams

    (and to you sir, great post – there are SO MANY different Bruichladdichs that it’s great to get a snapshot of so many in the one place)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye mate, I was quite surprised that they don’t sell it anymore (although the distillery still has some bottles in stock at their shop).

      And much appreciated! Loved touring Bruichladdich and the other Islay distilleries and defs look forward to heading back there sometime soon =D

      Slainte!

      Brendan

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s