Google Huge Quantities of Bruichladdich

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

September 3, 2019


Huge Quantities of Bruichladdich

Angus had just loved some recent terroir-driven ‘Laddies, which I perfectly understand. But we’ll have some more ‘classic’ ones today. In counterpoint, so to speak.

Bruichladdich ‘Classic Laddie Scottish Barley’ (50%, OB, +/-2019)

Bruichladdich ‘Classic Laddie Scottish Barley’ (50%, OB, +/-2019) Two stars and a half
Not sure this wasn't bottled a little earlier. NAS, so probably very young, as the distillery usually never hesitates to display very low ages such as 6, 7 or 8. Colour: straw. Nose: you get bread, overripe apples, and melons, which is all pretty Bruichladdich, the vanilla, sawdust and dandelions, which is more ‘young whisky in young cask). No complains this far. With water: same, no changes. Mouth (neat): very young, raw, oaky, with some flour, tapioca, vanilla and green/sour oak. With water: rather a little fruitier, but there’s still quite some sour oak, ginger mints, oatcakes, sourdough, oak spices… Finish: medium, a little too plankish for me. Comments: very oaky yet okay; just a stepping stone, I would say.
SGP:351 - 79 points.

Bruichladdich 11 yo (57%, Dramfool, bourbon barrel, 2019)

Bruichladdich 11 yo (57%, Dramfool, bourbon barrel, 2019) Four stars
No vintage statement, but possibly a 2017. Colour: pale gold. Nose: sour fruits, peaches, melons, apricots, all that is very nice and very ‘laddich. Add honeysuckle and elderflowers and you’ve got a rather aromatic young Bruichladdich. With water: some plum cake, and more orchard fruits. We’re at the bakery… Mouth (neat): rather pungent and peppery at first, then on all the same fruits, with a vanilla-ed creaminess and rather grapefruits than lemons. Good, both. With water: more spices this time, water woke them up. Cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper… Finish: long, creamy, with a little more acidic fruit. Kiwis? Comments: this, is classic Laddie, if I may. Reminds me of the first ‘new’ official Ten.
SGP:551 – 86 points.

Bruichladdich 8 yo 2010/2019 (55%, Maltbarn, bourbon, cask #118, 155 bottles)

Bruichladdich 8 yo 2010/2019 (55%, Maltbarn, bourbon, cask #118, 155 bottles) Four stars
This should be sharp and smart. BTW did you notice the lovely aquamarine tribute? Colour: white wine. Nose: fresh, and actually close to some raw distillates that the indies were having in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Celeriac and gentian, plus apples juice and yellow melons, on a rather eau-de-vie-ish foundation. Which is normal. Also oranges. With water: creamy vanilla, light honey, and just a small spoonful of mashed potatoes. Mouth (neat): take a blender (I mean, the device), add kiwis, tangerines, lemons, oranges, bananas and melons, push the button, and there, this is what you get. If you don’t, that’s because you forgot to plug it in. With water: same. Perhaps a little more towards green apples. Finish: medium, grassier, as usual. Comments: bright and easy, and very orchardy.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Bruichladdich 14 yo 2004/2019 (63.6%, SCSM, China, red wine, cask #1540, 402 bottles)

Bruichladdich 14 yo 2004/2019 (63.6%, SCSM, China, red wine, cask #1540, 402 bottles) Two stars
Red wine? Which red wine? Colour: gold. Nose: well well well, you cannot always win, and I’m not sure whiffs of truffles, gunpowder and hard-boiled eggs is always a good thing. With water: and gas. Mouth (neat): green pepper, white pepper, cloves, ginger… And gunpowder. With water: a littler nicer, thanks to some marmalade. Marmalade would help any whisky. Finish: rather long, very spicy. Seville oranges, ginger, pepper, strawberry jam. And green pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: a battleground the next morning. What I could try so far from our friends in China has always been first class, but this is really too glitchy for me. Red wine and whisky? Always proceed with caution…
SGP:462 - 70 points.

Bruichladdich 16 yo 2002/2018 (61.2%, Claxton’s, sherry puncheon, cask # 1853-651, 372 bottles)

Bruichladdich 16 yo 2002/2018 (61.2%, Claxton’s, sherry puncheon, cask # 1853-651, 372 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: deep gold. Nose: some rounded, rather PX-y sherry, not stuffy at this point, rather on those ripe mirabelles that we like so much, and with just a touch of chalk and aspirin. Forgot to mention sultanas. With water: elderberries, chamomile, rosehip oil, patchouli. That’s perfectly unusual in Bruichladdich, and perfectly awesome. Mouth (neat): rich, very honeyed, and with big notes of Sauternes, or rather Monbazillac, with even touches of botrytis (smoky mushroomy ashes or something). And this funny medicinal side again. With water: ah perfect, this time the wine and the spirit would just tango to perfection. Cakes, jams, and yet no stuffiness. Finish: rather long, with the usual greener aftertaste. Green tea, lees… Comments: hard to beat. Ten more years and presto, up there with the very best.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

Bruichladdich 15 yo 2002/2018 (61.1%, Or Sileis, barrel, cask #618, 161 bottles)

Bruichladdich 15 yo 2002/2018 (61.1%, Or Sileis, barrel, cask #618, 161 bottles) Five stars
Let’s see what our friends in Taiwan have found. The bottle comes complete with legends, dragons, fairies and swords especially, I believe, Excalibur. Colour: gold. Nose: very typically ex-bourbon Bruichladdich, creamy, fruity, perfectly balanced, fresh, and yet rich. You cannot not mention overripe apples, melons, peaches, acacia and sunflower honeys, and just a tiny touch of smoke, not sure whether those early batches were still ‘a bit peaty like 8ppm’ or not. With water: earth coming out, just what we were expecting. Perfect. Mouth (neat): absolutely perfect indeed. Tense, fruity, citrusy, with also the usual garden fruits, all this honey, these small herbal teas (rather chamomile and thyme), and, well quite some verticalness. Just a tiny wee touch of coconut, nothing awkward at all. With water: not one wrong move! Excellent drop. Finish: medium, tight and yet rich, creamy, with a superb fruitiness. High-precision work. Some violet sweets in the aftertaste, which always works in my book. Comments: any show of resistance would be futile, Captain.
SGP:651 - 90 points.

Bruichladdich 13 yo 2005/2018 (60.6%, Whisky Broker, cask #1410)

Bruichladdich 13 yo 2005/2018 (60.6%, Whisky Broker, cask #1410) Four stars
They’re having many such casks, and the reputation is pretty high. Colour: amber. Nose: rich sherry, walnuts, chestnuts, raisins, sultanas, good Cognac, dates and prunes, chestnut honey, rancio, tobacco, and very minimal amounts of gunpowder. Some sherry may have been involved here (you’ll never cease to amaze us, S.) With water: mushrooms, a walk in the woods in October, moss, tobacco, those sorts of things. Mouth (neat): very good creamy sweet and yet mineral and ‘gunpowdery’ sherry at first, while it would get rounder over time, with dried figs, bananas, and some honey. As usual, walnuts are running the show. Some slightly sulphury earthiness in the background, not even sure I should mention that (well, you just did, S.) With water: same, more or less. Finish: rather long, on spicy fig jam. Comments: this has had its old-Macallan moments. There’s some sulphur too, but it’s perfectly integrated, almost as if that was done on purpose.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

We’ve got some sister casks but we’ll do those later, or this is really going to become too long.

Bruichladdich 26 yo 1991/2017 (48%, Douglas Laing, Xtra Old Particular, cask #12259, 301 bottles)

Bruichladdich 26 yo 1991/2017 (48%, Douglas Laing, Xtra Old Particular, cask #12259, 301 bottles) Four stars
Colour: white wine. Nose: it’s the freshness that’s pretty impressive here, also its austere side, far from all the youngsters that we just had. Graphite and lamp oils, fresh almonds, kelp, hazelnuts, fruit peels, hints of wet cardboard, cut grass, dried flowers in a vase, touches of mint… It’s really soft, almost whispering. No water is needed. Mouth: I have to say this is pretty brilliant, complex, and perfectly mature. That’s the difference between whisky that’s perfectly flavoured and whisky that’s truly mature. Lovely honey , beeswax and mead. Having said that, some notes of beer are a little too much, and you really have to love bitter almonds. Finish: medium, rather more on marmalade, while the wax keeps singing in the aftertaste, together with some hay wine or jelly. Comments: a rather complex one, probably the top of what you could find within these Invergordon vintages.
SGP:551 - 87 points.

Let’s double-check that…

Bruichladdich 26 yo 1991/2018 (55.2%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, hogshead, cask #3045, 207 bottles)

Bruichladdich 26 yo 1991/2018 (55.2%, Blackadder, Raw Cask, hogshead, cask #3045, 207 bottles) Three stars and a half
Colour: pale gold. Nose: different again. Apple cakes, sweet beer, paraffin, apple peels, green plums, chalk, tonic water, cinchona… This is exactly how I remembered those vintages, pleasant but a little rough. With water: yoghurt and custard, white melons, limestone, and rather a lot of paraffin. Mouth (neat): feels young, a tad chalky and fermentary (muscadet), with notes of green coffee, then many white and green fruits, greengages, apples, green bananas… Green bananas are particularly obvious here. With water: more grass and more lemons and grapefruits. A tad fizzy, like Schweppes tonic water. I know I shouldn’t quote those brands since they manage to sneak in almost 90g sugar per litre. That’s almost as much as in Coke or Pepsi. But back to this Laddie, I find it dry and fine. Finish: rather long and really grassy. Green melon skin. Comments: not my favourite ever, and this Bruichladdich will not change our lives, but I find it really very fair and loyal.
SGP:451 - 84 points.

A last one, and let’s make it a rare old one!

Bruichladdich 24 yo 1965/1990 (54.2%, Turatello)

Bruichladdich 24 yo 1965/1990 (54.2%, Turatello) Five stars
Some Gordon & MacPhail stock, most certainly, shipped over to one of their Italian importers. Remember, the Italians were still running the show at that time, as far as malt whisky was concerned, while we lesser Europeans like me used to rather drink heavily branded blends that were giving us headaches and terrible mornings. Colour: gold. Nose: Bruichladdich had dropped peat just four or five years earlier, and you would swear there was still some in the pipes when nosing this wonderful malt. It’s earthier and fatter than modern distillates, probably more herbal too, and it’s shock full of aromas from the woods, such as pine needles, damp moss and earth, old branches, autumn leaves (coming soon), mushrooms, fern… On top of all that, some lovely camphor, which just always works. Also a little earthy sherry, walnuts, tobacco, miso, rancio… With water: stunning. Bandages, tobacco, leather, mushrooms, walnuts, and a gazillion tinier aromas, all around herbs and woods. Mouth (neat): oh crikey! Marzipan, old walnuts, stout, carbonnade, concentrated prune juice (a must in the old days), rancio, madder Armagnac (Ténarèze), wood extracts, walnut stain... Should you try this blind, you’d believe the whisky’s as black as ebony, while it’s just golden. With water: citrus getting in on the act. Pink grapefruits and blood oranges. Finish: long, soothing, perfect, rich, extremely satisfying and, which is bad for your wallet, moreish. Comments: G&M also had such wonders in their older ‘Cask’ series. The best HPs are not too far away.
SGP:662 - 93 points.

Let’s do the calculations, that’s one, two, three… ten Bruichladdich. That’s what, at WF Towers, we call a proper session. See you.

(Merci les frères Burlet)

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