Whisky Review #133: Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 1990 26 Years Old

Most of you would know that I absolutely adore Bruichladdich and the whiskies that they produce. I had the privilege of working at Bruichladdich distillery during my return trip to Islay last month and had the pleasure of working with the staff from both the bottling line and warehouse departments.

During my time there, I took in a lot of the sights, sounds, aromas and tastes that the distillery and Islay offered and it truly was an amazing experience being back on Islay and at the distillery.

Needless to say, 6 days was not nearly enough I can’t wait to be back there for another sojourn (whenever that may be).

During my time there, I had the opportunity to sample the brand new Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1, which is available for purchase at £275 (£229.17 ex-VAT) from the distillery’s online store.

Therefore, this week’s review focuses on the Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1, which was distilled in 1990 (just like the fabled Black Art 4.1), matured for 26 years in a variety of casks (the recipe for which is a closely guarded secret) before being bottled at a cask strength abv of 46.9% and with a run of 18000 individually numbered bottles.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 1990 26 Years Old
Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 1990 26 Years Old

Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1 1990 26 Years Old (Bottled at 46.9% abv)

Colour: Burnished copper

Nose: Initial entry presents a myriad of aromas, with red wine and sherried hints at the fore, followed by orange peel, maraschino cherries, rancio and oak in the mix. Sea salt, parchment, cinnamon, nutmeg and dark chocolate shavings emerge soon after and provide more complexity to the proceedings. (23/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents more of the above, with the red wine and sherried hints particularly pronounced. There is a clear link between this expression and the Black Art 4.1, with the wine influences taking control of the proceedings while keeping the other aspects in check. With time, the oak asserts itself more but is counterbalanced by the dark chocolate shavings and maraschino cherry hints. (23/25)

Finish: Long and lingering on the finish, with the wine and sherried hints intermingling beautifully with the cinnamon, nutmeg, oak and maraschino cherries to bring things to a warming and immensely enjoyable close. (22/25)

Balance: An exceptionally well-balanced expression which exhibits all of the complexities that one would expect from a Black Art release, while also staying true to the template of the stellar Black Art 4.1 expression. The mouthfeel is oily with just a touch of dryness from the wood spices and the oak. (22/25)

Rating: 90/100

As a fan of the Black Art 4.1, I believe that this is a stellar follow-up to it and it seems to have stuck closely to the recipe of the Black Art 4.1 which Adam Hannett inherited from Jim McEwan. While I enjoyed Adam’s first foray into the Black Art world with the 5.1, I definitely have a preference for the 6.1 and would be happy to part with my money for a bottle.

This expression will eventually make its way to Singapore and I for one can’t wait for it to arrive, as it will surely make some waves in the local whisky community.

Until the next post, have a wonderful week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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More reviews: https://www.thesinglecask.sg/blogs/news

 

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