The latest release of Islay Barley from Bruichladdich. The barley in question being produced on Rockside farm. Harvested and distilled from in 2007, this 5-6 year old whisky has been very interesting in the past. Let’s see how this year favours.
Lots of lovely creamy barley. Soaking in lemon juice. A pinch of pepper. Light vanilla. Porridge. Malt biscuits. This nose is all about the barley and citrus. In the background there are hints of grass, hay and dunnage warehouse. There is a very nice organic sense in the background, farm like.
The arrival is sweet and sour complex. Lemons taking the front. Some pepper and chilli spice. After the heat of the 50% alcohol subsides, the development goes into creamy vanilla custard, lemon drizzle cake, rich barley oils. Oils is a very prominent feature of this palate, the mouthfeel is thick, extremely coating, gorgeous stuff. There is a touch of herbal as well, I’m not too great on picking up herbs, but there is something parsley like in the palate. Really complex. Delicious.
Those wonderful oils spread the complex barley, cake like, citrus notes. Continuing for a fair duration (medium-long) considering the age. The after heat is well down into the chest, warming and not harsh. Very smooth. Moreish as well.
This is so drinkable at bottled strength I don’t want to add water, but I will for experience sake! Just a few drops. The nose is more complex now, lots more herbal elements coming forward. Herbal lozenges, sage, clove. The citrus notes have dulled, but they are still in the background. The palate reflects the nose, very complex. Some fennel and aniseed flavours are intermingling with the citrus now. The mouthfeel still very oily. The finish has now an engine oil and barley rich note, more herbal again, but still retaining the citrus rich profile if the undiluted. To have water or not? Well, I like it either way to be honest. Half a dram without, then add a bit. Makes for a fun dram experience.
This is fantastic stuff. I can’t remember the 2006 being as good as this one, don’t get me wrong that was awesome as well, but for me this 2007 Islay Barley is striking all the right notes. It’s light enough to be a breakfast whisky, but also complex enough to spend a lot of time considering its flavours over a long evening.
There are a nice selection of wee Laddies (small bottles) available now from various retailers which include the Laddie Classic, Islay Barley and the Botonist (Bruichladdich’s gin), if you don’t know Bruichladdich yet, and fancy taking a taste test there is no better way to do this than with those 20cl bottles.
Thank you to Bruichladdich for kindly providing a review sample.