While not an official bottling of Bruichladdich, this is a good opportunity for me to relay some experiences from my visit at Bruichladdich last October. I won’t make this an extensive post, but I will make some observations:
First, Bruichladdich is bringing back floor maltings for all Islay grown barley. When I visited in October, it was already approved by the planning commission, so this is still a couple of years away. I reckon that the earliest we’ll see whisky malted there is in eight years or so, so around 2025, and I assume it will first show up in an Octomore expression.
Second, Adam Hannett’s basic take on whisky making is keeping things mixed up. He’s happy about Bruichladdich’s variation and the lack of a real “core range”, and intends to keep up that way of doing things.
Third, anybody who’s been to Bruichladdich will confirm that the distillery has an air of joie de vivre, patently striking from the moment you step into the shop all through the production floors and warehouses. It’s a great place to visit, and Carl taking us around and Adam taking the time to walk us through the warehouses was fabulous! Thanks Adam and Carl 🙂
Speaking of warehouses, some massive ones are being built a few hundred yards from the current warehouses, which will greatly increase storage capacity.
And now, on to this single Bruichladdich, distilled when Adam was in grade school, not to far from where the distillation took place….
The Single Malts of Scotland, Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1992, Cask 3839, 237 Bottles (55.4% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Deep gold, thin and very slow legs running off a long lasting necklace.
Nose: The first thing that jumps up at you is no lacticity. That’s a funny way to start a note, I know, but to my nose Bruichladdich whisky (but not the peated versions) is very lactic, and I usually find it somewhat challenging. Honey, alpine evergreens and some old citrus peels. There’s a touch of floral perfume on the nose, with a hint of toffee and vanilla.
Palate: Very full bodied, intensely spicy (mostly black pepper, but a note of cumin too), honey and chalk, with some bitterness. You can just get a hint of the lacticity here, but not in an offensive way.
Linger: Hot spices and bitter citrus rind. This dram is very warming down the gullet, with latent spice all around it. The spices hit you with black pepper, white pepper and a touch of fresh cardamom, and a hint of sweetness in the end.
An older style Bruichladdich, this is really a solid dram. The style is quite different than the newer expressions out now, and the cask was meticulously selected.