Google Much Laddie, Part One

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

July 6, 2022


Much Laddie, Part One

We've had some serious heatwaves here in Alsace and I have to say  I'm finding it difficult to do long tasting sessions under these conditions. Speaking of conditions, no, we never make use of any air conditioning, this is not Vegas, baby. So, a moderately long session today, let's just select a few Laddies randomly…
(Picture, some kind of high-ranked offficial filling his valinch at Bruichladdich in 2006).



Bruichladdich 8 yo 'Islay Barley 2012' (50%, OB, 2020)

Bruichladdich 8 yo 'Islay Barley 2012' (50%, OB, 2020) Three stars and a half
¾ first fill bourbon and ¼ French wine. Is the French wine really necessary? Colour: white wine. So either the French wine was white, or the casks had been already filled with whisky. Hope so, frankly… Nose: pure barley goodness, fresh brioches and breads, cakes, the wee bakery in Bowmore (it's called the Islay Bakery, S.), flour, grist, oats… With water: same, an all-natural barleyganza this far. Mouth (neat): very good, tight, focused, sweet and all on ales, with touches of pepper, ginger and juniper that would tend to come to the front, perhaps is that the European oak from the French wine? Not too sure that's an obvious asset. With water: same feelings, a great drop that's a tad too spiced-up with European oak. Just a tad. Finish: rather long, with more cinnamon, nutmeg, juniper, clove, spiced bread… Comments: it's really all only a matter of personal preferences. A wee feeling of a very good malt whisky made by a cleverly diligent middle-European start-up distillery. We may be missing the Bruichladdichness.

SGP:551 - 84 points.

All right…

Bruichladdich 8 yo 'Islay Barley 2013' (50%, OB, 2021)

Bruichladdich 8 yo 'Islay Barley 2013' (50%, OB, 2021) Three stars and a half
Same set-up. Colour: a notch darker. Nose: fruitier, rootier, more expressive. Celeriac and fennel, sweet beets, gentian (hurray!) and whiffs of wee white pineapples. Hold on, viognier? With water: back to breads, grist and oats, plus white pepper. An unexpected turn of events. Mouth (neat): once again, a fruitier version after the 2012, with more jelly babies after the ginger mints and cinnamon. With water: same as the 2012. Finish: same, with some hot spices coming to the front. Comments: not much to add. This one's very marginally fruitier, but it'll all depend on the amount and type of water you'll be using. Let's make this clear though, I think they are great drops!

SGP:551 - 84 points.

Bruichladdich 10 yo 2009 (53.6%, OB, private cask, Alan Robinson, sherry bloodtub, cask #1937)

Bruichladdich 10 yo 2009 (53.6%, OB, private cask, Alan Robinson, sherry bloodtub, cask #1937) Four stars and a half
Good, we'll give it away. Our friend Alan first bought a sherry bloodtub of Port Charlotte '01 while on Islay. After only a few years, in 2009, he did let it be bottled, with incommensurable results. Subsequently, he did let that now empty bloodtub be filled with some Laddie new make, then aged for ten years, and the end result is what we're about to taste. It's not too often that we can try two different whiskies from the very same cask, mind you. Colour: gold. Nose: at the fair. Candyfloss, toffee apples, candy cane, then panettone and kougelhopf, maize bread, baked parsnips and other forgotten root vegetables (swedes?), plus an old tobacco pouch and grandpa's old pipes… With water: sameish, just lighter and less heavy (bravo, S.) Mouth (neat): big spices, it seems that that nasty bloodtub had not ran out of arguments while it was first used. Gingerbread, roasted sesame, pumpernickel, touch of olive oil, walnut liqueur, caraway, lemon marmalade… Big stuff. With water: I would believe it's the peat + sherry combination from the first filling that's doing the talking, a rather ghostly feeling. Ginger and coconut cookies too. Finish: long, same, spicy… Spicy cookies and breads in the aftertaste. Comments: Alan, did you let the bloodtub be filled again? I'll keep a tasting slot around 2031.
SGP:562 - 89 points.

Bruichladdich 12 yo 2007/2019 (50.4%, The Fisherman's Retreat, Rivesaltes French wine cask, 249 bottles)

Bruichladdich 12 yo 2007/2019 (50.4%, The Fisherman's Retreat, Rivesaltes French wine cask, 249 bottles) Four stars
This Rivesaltes is probably vin doux naturel (VDN) and we wouldn't say it's never used at any of Mark Reynier's ex, current or probably next ventures. Including Bruichladdich. Colour: full gold. Nose: raisin rolls, plus raisin rolls, raisin rolls and raisin rolls. I think it's important to add that we love raisin rolls, provided they were baked in the same morning. With water: whiff of incense, otherwise raisin rolls with touches of ground cinnamon. Those are even better. Mouth (neat): tighter maltiness, raisins indeed (and big time, that's the Rivesaltes, could have been muscat de Rivesaltes), plus banana cake and honeydew and mead. Nice grassy backbone to keep it straight. With water: it loves water. Great fusion whisky, or in-cask meta-blending, with glorious muscat raisins at the helm. Alexandria! Finish: rather long, sweet, and you guessed it, raisiny. Comments: Bruichladdich is a sponge for any wines, but control has to be kept (that last part was a highly superfluous comment, S.)

SGP:751 - 86 points.

Speaking of sponges, may we have an all-natural Bruichladdich, please?…

Bruichladdich 20 yo 2001/2021 (50.9%, WhiskySponge, 1st fill bourbon barrel, 161 bottles)

Bruichladdich 20 yo 2001/2021 (50.9%, WhiskySponge, 1st fill bourbon barrel, 161 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: light gold. Nose: rippling barley fields and Provence melon skins, with some very evanescent sea air, we're well and fully at Bruichladdich this time. Notes of light ales over all that. With water: and grist, homemade bread, chalk and kombucha. Mouth (neat): exactly Bruichladdich, we're reminded of the old official 20. This is from the very first batches of the just-restarted Distillery, so there should be a touch of peat as they first made it 'very lightly peated', but I'm afraid I'm not really getting it. The honeydew melons are obvious, though, and this is simply very lovely, and extremely 'Bruichladdich'. I'm asking you, why is it that the indies would always be the real guardians of the house styles, while the owners would keep compromising with any deviant woods they could find? Answer on a postcard, please. With water: moist orange cake, with icing and bits of candied zest. Finish: medium, zestier yet, citrusy, with a honey, orange and melon triumvirate that's only to be found at B. Comments: just impeccable and unstoppable. Lovely purity. Touches of putty coming through after around ten minutes, that's even more lovely.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

We've got many others but most are actually Lochindaals, so careful with this last one…

Bruichladdich 30 yo 1990/2020 'Yellow Submarine' (52.9%, Aquavitae, Taiwan, hogshead)

Bruichladdich 30 yo 1990/2020 'Yellow Submarine' (52.9%, Aquavitae, Taiwan, hogshead) Three stars
Forza Taiwan! As I understand it, this is a kind of tribute bottling to another bottling that was officially done to pay tribute to a wee lost submarine that was reminiscent of a song by The Beatles. May I ask about who's dealing with the rights here? Well, I would suppose those are soluble in whisky… Colour: light gold. Nose: a slightly less refined style after the Sponge's, well in line with the many Bruichladdichs that used to be available in Jim Beam/Invergordon's time (the Distillery was closed). I remember Cadenhead used to have these, together with fairly similar Juras. Yep. So grappa and kirsch, plus a little vanilla and beer, plus a touch of rubber. Not the most motivating makes, but water can make wonders… With water: grist, leather, Budweiser… Mouth (neat): ah, Jura! Seriously, this is a Jura-y Bruichladdich, which is not even very surprising. Some leather, mustard, Madeira, bitter ales… With water: more bitter ales. Finish: long, bitter, mustardy. Artichokes. Comments: rather representative of those many casks that the former owners had decided to 'Ace' (finish) for some reasons. We've tried many 'from the original woods', tough lots! Yeah, not to mention the Juras… This one ain't bad at all, actually, on the contrary…
SGP:361 - 80 points.

See you soon with another Laddie session…

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Bruichladdich we've tasted so far







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