In the wee hours of the 14th of October, I was invited for a tasting at the offices of Remy Cointreau Asia which was to showcase the 4th edition of the Bruichladdich Micro Provenance series.
This was the first time that there was a livestream event hosted in Singapore and it was a case of fast reflexes and some good fortune that I managed to snag a spot for this momentous occasion.
It all started on the 1st of September, when Bruichladdich Brand Ambassador Mr Richard “Cannonball” Gillam posted a message on the Dram Full – Singapore Facebook group asking Bruichladdich and Octomore fans if they were keen to attend a limited tasting at 2am on the morning of the 14th of October.
It really was good fortune that I had spotted the message just after it had been posted and I immediately expressed my interest and was rewarded with a spot for this tasting. I must admit that I did not put the pieces together at that point of time and it was only much later that I realised that this was the Micro Provenance livestream event.
Fast forward to the night of the 13th of October and I was at work and counting down the time till the event. Richard had emailed us with the event details a few days beforehand and informed us that it was best if we were at the Remy Cointreau Asia offices by 1am so that we could indulge in some pre-event drinks.
Daniel Goh (of The Good Beer Company and Spirited Singapore) messaged me beforehand and asked if I didn’t mind him dropping by the bar to chill before heading over and naturally I said that was definitely fine.
At around 12.40am, we set off from the bar to the event venue and it was a pleasant 15 minute walk during which we had a good chat about many issues (and also shared a couple of jokes).
Once we arrived at the offices (and meeting up with some old friends in the process), Richard greeted us with some Bruichladdich-centric cocktails as well as a veritable spread of food.
After the cocktails had been drunk, Richard turned our attention towards some new expressions which had been bottled by the distillery, namely the Islay Barley 2009 and the Bere Barley 2009 expressions. As expected, they were brilliant.
Richard then brought out another bottle which was rather different from the rest: the Black Art 4.1 1990 23 Years Old expression which I had the pleasure of sampling at the distillery last Jan.
He then went one step further and pulled out another bottle which had a “duty paid sample” label on it. It was the Black Art 5.1, which will be released very soon. Needless to say, it was delicious and the amount of sherry in this expression is insane!
After having a chat with some old friends and new, Richard asked us to make our way to the room next door, which was to be the area in which the livestream from the distillery and the tasting was to be conducted.
Once we had taken our seats, Richard proceeded to inform us of the expressions which were to be tasting during the Micro Provenance session. They were:
- Cask #361 – distilled in 2008 and matured full term in a French ex-Syrah (red wine) cask and bottled at 58% abv
- Cask #16-062 – distilled in 2006 and matured in ex-bourbon before being finished in an ex-sherry cask and bottled at 58% abv
- Cask #1062 – distilled in 2005 and matured full term in bourbon and bottled at 59% abv
The tasting then began and it was a lively affair which Richard conducted to perfection. As the internet connection on Islay was rather spotty, the livestream was plagued by issues throughout and so Richard had to fill in the gaps from time to time in order to keep us up to speed.
He also encouraged us to get on the YouTube livestream link and comment on it, which led to some hilarious exchanges. The same happened on Twitter, which was filled with some great comments and conversations between distillery personnel and fans around the world.
The Syrah expression had a note which was reminiscent of orange boiled sweets as well as orange oil, while the Sherry expression was dense and rich. The Bourbon expression was clean, fresh and more-ish and one of the most vibrant bourbon-centric samples that I had ever tried.
All in all, my personal order of preference was the Sherry first, followed very closely by the Bourbon and then the Syrah. This is not to say that the Syrah wasn’t a great expression (it definitely was), but when placed alongside its counterparts, it somewhat paled in comparison.
After the tasting session had ended, Richard then produced several other expressions to try. These included:
Last but not least…
The Octomore 10 Years Old was something truly special and I definitely can’t wait for it to be released for sale. The Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 was another beauty as it showcased some rather interesting notes which reminded me so much of the Bruichladdich Cuvee 640 Eroica expression (with a dollop of peat in it of course).
As for The Laddie Eight, I was astounded at how easy it was to drink it and it is certainly one of those drams that you could be drinking all night due to its mellow and complex nature. That was the dram which surprised me the most on the night and it is definitely something that I would like to add to my drinking cabinet.
Overall, it was a wonderful night filled with good drinks, great company and exceptional memories which will surely not be soon forgotten. I’m eternally grateful to have gotten the chance to attend this event and will definitely be keeping a close eye out for future distillery events.
The reviews for the Micro Provenance samples can be found at the following link: Whisky Review #73: Bruichladdich Micro Provenance 4 Cask Samples
As for the other drams tasted on the night, they will surely be reviewed in due course, so please keep an eye out for them!
More reviews: https://www.thesinglecask.sg/blogs/news