Whisky Review – Bruichladdich by whiskybroker.co.uk

Bruichladdich 9 year old single cask
50%ABV (bottled at)
£35.00 at whiskybroker.co.uk

Details from whiskybroker

This Islay whisky, distilled on 30th June 2004 at Bruichladdich Distillery, has been matured in a bourbon barrel for over 9 years. The cask was heavily charred, with several litres of charred wood being collected in buckets from the empty cask. This has been filtered out, although very small particles may remain in the bottle and are only visible when the bottle is left standing for a period of time.

The whisky has not been chill filtered, nor has any colouring been added. It has been lightly filtered to remove large particles of wood sediment from the cask, but may still contain small traces, which are visible only when bottle is left standing for a period of time.

Cask Details:
Bourbon barrel 638
Distilled 30th June 2004
Bottled 21st August 2013
The cask yielded 273 bottles at 50% vol.

Nose.

More resembling the Islay barley profile than the classic laddie. No smoke here, is is a powerful and rich honey lemon mix with a bouquet of blooming flowers. There is a minute element of the maritime in the background. Some seaside saltiness in the air. A rich vanilla joins with time in the glass and more barley sugar sweetness. More floral and oak spice comes in time with a pepper heat.

Palate.

Quite sweet, but dry at the same time, lots of honey and vanilla, a little toffee. Some citrus. The maritime notes come through mid palate, with some sea salt and iodine. Pepper spices are present throughout. The development carries onto the sweet side, a very rich flavoursome laddie.

Finish.

Long finish. The citrus fruit remains and the sweetness of the barley oils feel very good all the way through to a drying end. A little sawdust, oak spice is at the very finale.

Adding water.

Adding a small drop of water to bring on the mist. The nose has added intensity, the lemon citrus notes are expanded with added honey. Floral and oak spices also provide balance. The nose is reminiscent now of the Islay barley expression but with added age and depth. The palate, while lighter in the mouthfeel, expands the fruit and toffee notes. It is very chew, sweet sugar also expanding with an added creaminess. The finish retains this new creaminess, and smooth texture.

Conclusion.

A really nice complex single cask from Bruichladdich (care of whiskybroker). It’s very Bruichladdich, but also has some nice variation. Having tasted and reviewed the 10 year old and Islay barley just before this whiskybroker release I can say this is a very interesting middle ground. It has elements of both of those previous expressions, but added uniqueness in the intensity of the flavours. There’s no smoke here if your not a smoke fan, just a whole lot of flavour and aromas to explore.

Thanks to Martin at whiskybroker for the cask sample. It’s much appreciated and enjoyed, as will the bottle I purchased be in time. 🙂

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Whisky Review – Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2006

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2006
50%ABV
Non-chill filtered
No added colour.
£38.95 at TheWhiskyExchange

Nose.

Considering the 50% strength the nose doesn’t burn at a good inhalation, and this dram requires some deep inhalation. Quite immersive a nose. Some vanilla, lots of lemon, lots of honey, kind of lockets (throat sweet) mix going on. It’s easy sniffing, energetic, but accessible. It was described to me at a tasting of a breakfast dram. Agreed! There’s some barley grain coming through, cereal notes, biscuity. Well, this is 5-6 years old, it certainly doesn’t smell that young.

Palate.

From the glass you can see this is a very oily dram, the mouth confirms this. Very mouth coating and pleasurable. The honey lemons are very forward, some vanilla joins in with a little cereal grain notes. Pepper wood spices also present. It’s quite simplistic, but oh so rewarding in the feel good factor. The strength while at 50% doesn’t feel it, and it is easy to drink undiluted.

Finish.

Sweet, lemon oil, short-medium, drying out and remaining citrus rind and some wood tannins.

Adding water.

Easy drinking undiluted, but need to try to add a little water for experimentation sake. The nose actually gets more intensive with water. More honey and lemon, and some floral additions come in to the fray. On the palate the flavours come more intensive also, added sweetness, buckets of honey and lemon and citrus peel are joined with some oak spice, grass and flower softness. It’s very chewy and exceedingly sip able. The finish remains soulful and that feel good happy factor is just bursting through.

Conclusion.

Definitely a breakfast dram. It’s not an epic, complex dram, but it is full of flavour, and the enjoyment factor is off the scale. It’s an easy dram, a starter for a session, but the thing is. I don’t think it will be easy to move onto the next dram, because I just want another one of these!

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Whisky Review – Bruichladdich 10 – the Laddie Ten


Bruichladdich – 10 year old
46%ABV
Non-chill filtered
No added colour.
£31.91 at MasterOfMalt

Nose.

Smokey fruit stew. For an un-peated dram, it’s got some real smoke in the nose. The fruit is rich and has some great depths. Feels older than 10. We have overripe melon, ripe lemons, citrus rind, some light vanilla and honey all with a smokey BBQ coating. There’s a little meatiness in the background of the BBQ. Getting some seaside, maritime notes now. It’s a compelling, complex nose, which continually evolves and intrigues in the glass.

Palate.

Savoury, some dry fruits, smoke, saltiness. Medicinal notes come through mid palate. Fruit continues through the development, that mixmash of stewed and overripe citrus sings about the place.

Finish.

Mouth coating, drying, smoke and maritime remain. It’s not massively maritime or peaty like many islay whiskies, but it has enough to make you know this is from the island.

Adding water.

This is quite easy going at undiluted strength. But adding a small drop of water to see what’s what. A little less maritime and smoke on the nose. Fruit comes to the forefront. The palate is lighter on the mouthfeel, but remains similar in flavour profile and development in the mouth. It’s overall quite a bit crisper and lighter. The finish is less smokey, and sweeter.

Conclusion.

Personally i prefer this one undiluted. This is a unique whisky. I’ve been a fan of this whisky and Bruichladdich since early in my whisky journey, just never got around to writing about it. I love the 10 year old, it’s a stable dram, complex undiluted and worthy of lengthy investigation. A true journey of smell and taste.

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Whisky Review – Bruichladdich Octomore 4.1

Bruichladdich Octomore 4.1
60.2% ABV
NAS – around 5 years old
Approx £100 if you can find it.
6.1 due sometime soon.

Bring the Peat!

Tasted and tested in the warm weather. Beware of inconsistencies due to British summer time!

Nose.

I can’t say BANG loud enough if I tried. It’s quite loud on the nose. A bit of everything on the peat types. Medicinal, BBQ meats, maritime, a bit of everything. There is also some floral there. Reminds me of Parma violets sweets from way back when. A little honey and vanilla reside in the background. It burns the nostrils, so don’t go in too deep for fear of olfactory scolding! Some fresh cut grass, hay and earth are also nicely evident. Time in the glass expands the floral notes and gives more honeysuckle and grassy earth tones.

Palate.

Sweet. Then kaboom! Salty maritime. Big heat thermonuclear stylee. Takes a while to overcome the heat. But floral pokes through, more salt, then grass and hay and earthy peat. An inferno all the way, but not unpleasantly so. It’s just a Kaiju of a mega monster!

Finish.

Its a long heated hot salty beast. (Sounds so wrong). Grass and hay sticks around. A little vanilla and honey returns during the drying moments.

Adding water.

Lets bring on a Jeager to try and calm this monster. In the form of chilled spring water! And a decent dollop at that. The addition of water has calmed the alcohol blast on the nasal senses to reveal more floral complexity. And possibly a little chocolate?! Yah, a definitely light milk, almost cadburys chocolate is coming through. Left it for a while and the peat is calmed significantly, more honey and vanilla, and yeah, still got that choco thing going on. On the palate the nuke is lowered, more complexity revealed. Vanilla, honey, floral notes all there. That chocolate is also lightly tingling the taste buds. It’s really tasty and complex. The finish is much shorter, still crisp and warm, but the dryness has some oak in it, drying vanilla and wood chips.

Conclusion.

This is a monster of a peat bombing mega dram. Takes some conquering, and a whole lot of exploration. If its anything like the Octomores I’ve tried in the past the next time I experience this creature it would have changed, mutated and attacked from a whole different standpoint. If this is the case I will add some notes. I was lucky to find one recently to explore, it must have slipped through a dimensional rift, but it was worth it! ;). This is one dram to cancel any apocalypse.

Ps. Pacific Rim. Worth a cinema viewing! It’s great fun, and a visual masterpiece!

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Whisky Review – Elements of Islay PL1

Elements of Islay PL1
60% ABV
Sold out. Though Corks of Cotham may have 1 or 2 left! £65.99

I love Bruichladdich. Love em I tell you! I’ve tried a few of their expressions. I love Octomore loads! I’ve tried a few of theirs as well. However…I think this is the first time I’ve done a Port Charlotte!

Nose.

Coastal BBQ. The sizzling bacon fat is bubbling away. The salted waves crashing in the background. From the colour and presumed (port Charlotte would have been going up to ten years at the time of this bottling so I would assume 6-9 years in a very active ex-sherry cask) age I would have thought more fruit present on the nose. But it’s very much a big, young, boosty Islay malt. It’s big ABV makes it harder to get your nose into. But with a litter perseverance the sherry spice and dark stewed fruit notes can be found lingering in the BBQ background. A little time in the glass and the fruit does wonder a little further forwards.

Palate.

Immediately some sherried dark fruits followed by a massive alcohol blast. As the blast subsides, it becomes quite maritime. Sea salt. Chilli and pepper. Peat earth. The fruit doesn’t return though.

Finish.

Salt and pepper. Some minimal fruit. Very warming. Drying wood tannins.

Adding water.

Think this will take a bit but will go in stages. Dollop 1. Nose is still hot. Rummed raisin coming through now. A little fruitcake in the background. BBQ still there in abundance. Palate. Wow. Big stuff. Fruity peat. Lots of fruit now. Really chewy. Great mouthfeel. It’s big, brash and fun. It’s got a lot of sherried dark fruits coming through but not the intensity of a a’bunadh, more sherried fruits with a peat fired rocket up its jacksie. Still got quite a bit of heat mid palate, but the flavours are coming out. Finish has some very subtle peat smoke infused fruits. More berried fruit now as opposed to raisins. I would go black/red/straw berrys. Lets do another water dollop. Dollop 2. For reference we have cloudiness. The nose is now well fruited. With many berries in addition to the raisin effect. The BBQ is more bonfire now. Damp brown leaf bonfire. There’s a little toffee coming in with the fire. The palate is now without the big burn. The malt is more toffied in its nature. Still fruity, very little peat on the immediate palate. The finish has peat earth, toffee encrusted fruit bars. Some cereal is floating around the mix as well. Possibly malted milk biscuits. There’s some creaminess throughout the experience now also. With or without water?! Can’t decide. Work to do there I think to find the right balance. It’s an experimental dram. You could spend a whole evening with a couple of these exploring the nooks and crannies. It’s an experience.

Conclusion.

A complex, different, big beastie boy of a malt. Lots to do, see, smell and taste. It’s not easy going. It’s a marathon of an Islay experience. Worth taking up though. If you can find it!

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