Google Bruichladdich, a few

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

February 10, 2016


Bruichladdich, a few

It’s Bruichladdich Day. I mean, on Whiskyfun. We’ve kind of lost contact with the distillery (perhaps because the owners are French ;-)) so don’t expect any new officials –are there any, by the way? But there are some great new indies, beyond this little (older) apéritif…

Bruichladdich 15 yo (43%, OB, Moon Import, 75cl, +/-1985)

Bruichladdich 15 yo (43%, OB, Moon Import, 75cl, +/-1985) Three stars This baby bottled long before the ‘small blue label’ that used to be a little undemanding, to put it mildly. Colour: gold. Nose: it is to be wondered if they hadn’t added a little peated old Bruichladdich, as what I’m getting at first sniffs is rather metal polish and soot/ashes. Whiffs of brake fluid as well, then rather herbs and grasses, with some fern, and perhaps grapefruit skin. It’s only after a good five minutes that the expected melons do start to come out, and they would come with peaches, although the whole will remain pretty sooty and grassy. Perhaps fresh walnuts (sherry?) Mouth: it’s not huge, but once again it’s surprisingly dry and grassy. Still some soot, touches of bitter caramel, a little cardboard, grapefruits and bitter oranges… And those ashes plus some pepper. Quite austere, globally. Finish: medium, with an oiliness, zests, grass, and something both metallic and cardboardy in the aftertaste. A touch of lemon too. Comments: a dry old Bruichladdich, rather unusual. SGP:362 - 82 points.

Bruichladdich 1991/2015 (53.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, Cask Strength, refill hogsheads, casks #2775, 2776, 2780)

Bruichladdich 1991/2015 (53.3%, Gordon & MacPhail, Cask Strength, refill hogsheads, casks #2775, 2776, 2780) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: entirely different, with many more fruits at first nosing. And yes we’re meaning melons and not-too-ripe apricots. There’s also quite a lot of soy sauce, which is very unusual (we’re not talking hints of soy sauce as in some oloroso-ed malts), and then even bouillon and oxtail. Fun! With water: rather less soy sauce, and rather more tobacco, beef jerky, thuja wood… Mouth (neat): thick, on… some kind of sauce, very funny indeed. Chinese plum sauce, for example, or quince chutney, bay leaves, pink pepper… All that’s drizzled over some kind of all-fruit jam that would have involved melons, peaches, and oranges. With water: spicy and jammy, with some bitterness. Natural liquorice, perhaps. Finish: long, and almost all on liquorice indeed. Perhaps a little salt. Comments: not sure a traditional blender wouldn’t have rejected such a deviant cask. But to the whisky lover, that’s great news. A very different, very funny, and very entertaining Bruichladdich. Sherry hogshead? SGP:561 - 87 points.

Bruichladdich 11 yo 2004/2015 (58.4%, Hunter Laing, Old Malt Cask, cask #2530)

Bruichladdich 11 yo 2004/2015 (58.4%, Hunter Laing, Old Malt Cask, cask #2530) Three stars and a half This one’s brand new, I haven’t seen it online yet – at time of writing. Colour: very dark amber. Nose: a rather meaty and mineral kind of sherry, with struck matches and assorted scents. Smoked ham, Grisons meat, gunpowder, bitter chocolate, earth, and marmalade. Then pu-erh tea and some metallic notes. Old rusty tin box. With water: oh, soy sauce again! And lovage, Maggi, these sorts of things. Mouth (neat): a very meaty sherry. Beef cooked in orange juice with a lot of cracked pepper, plus some pipe tobacco and Mexican mole sauce. With water: some shy blood oranges manage to come through the sherry wall, a bit. Finish: long, Schweppes-y, gingery, with a flinty aftertaste. More bitter oranges in the aftertaste. Comments: perhaps for lovers of this very meaty/chocolaty style only. I know quite a few of them ;-). Hard to score, because this one’s even more about taste and colours. Some will love it, some will hate it (where have I heard that before?) SGP:472 - 84 points.

Bruichladdich 22 yo 1992/2015 (53.3%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 222 bottles)

Bruichladdich 22 yo 1992/2015 (53.3%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 222 bottles) Four stars and a half Back to bourbon… Colour: deep gold. Nose: probably the most ‘Bruichladdich’ of them all. All kinds of melons (you wouldn’t want me to list them all, would you?) with a little white chocolate and sea air. Perhaps a little almond oil. With water: a little more grass, and discreet whiffs of seaweed. And bonbons, perhaps. Mouth (neat): so very typically Bruichladdich! It’s a bit in the style of the first 15 that the former new owners hat issued around 2002 or 2003. Bright Provence melon, a little honey, some guavas and papayas, and a thin layer of custard. Very clean, very pure, very Bruichladdich indeed. With water: totally excellent. Pure fruity goodness, without excess. Finish: medium, elegant, fruity but not too fruity. Comments: I found this independent Laddie more official than the officials, if you see what I mean. As they say, a very fine example of the make. And it’s so very drinkable. Almost always impressive these days, Cadenhead’s (so, is the cheque in the mail, at last? The barrel of Brora never reached my doorstep!) SGP:651 - 88 points.

Another 22 yo and we’re done…

Bruichladdich 22 yo 1991/2014 (55.9%, Anam na h-Alba, bourbon hogshead)

Bruichladdich 22 yo 1991/2014 (55.9%, Anam na h-Alba, bourbon hogshead) Five stars Colour: straw. Nose: same ballpark, but this one’s got a discreet smokiness, and perhaps a little less fruits. It’s also got a wee farminess, which makes it a little more ‘Highlands’. So far, so very good. With water: barley, gravel, fumes, Barbour grease… Mouth (neat): wow! Sharp, lemony, a little smoky, briny, mineral… I’ve had some ex-refill Highland Parks that have been a little bit like this. Green tea, smoked fish, pepper, lemon, chalk… With water: perfect. Sharp waxy lemons, oils, green pepper, some salt, greengages (no lemons this time!)… Finish: long, kind of smoky, lemony, fat, oily… Indeed, we’re almost between Highland Park and Clynelish. Bruichladdich, you say? May we see the papers? (I know, yet another stupid joke). Comments: this little-known bottle is really worthy of your attention, even if it’s quite un-Bruichladdich. Perhaps not a surprise, but… yeah, a surprise, a great surprise. Loved it. SGP:562 - 90 points.

(with thanks to C.J. and Ron)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Bruichladdich I've tasted so far






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