Islay region – 46% ABV – $45 – $55 | £32 | €45
The complaint, if there ever was one, with Bruichladdich was that there were WAY too many releases coming out of the distillery which made it difficult for people to keep track of or understand the distillery; myself included.
This is not to say that many of the releases were bad releases. Quite the contrary! I think the vast majority of whisky reviewers/bloggers would agree with me in saying that the bottles being churned out of the Bruichladdich distillery were, for the most part, top notch releases. Heck, I gave the Bruichladdich Blacker Still an award last year (brill-i-ant whisky!)
So why did our friends at Bruichladdich release so many whisky expressions over that past 10 years? My guess is that they needed to generate funds to help create and launch this whisky we will be reviewing today.
Bruichladdich does not sell their whisky to blenders. All of their 750,000 liters (per year, when run at full capacity) goes to their single malt – no blends. So, if they can’t make money by selling malt whisky for blends, they had to sell of old stock from the previous distillery owners. Hence, the many many releases from Bruichladdich.
We are told, however, that the frequency of these machine gun fire releases will come down now that a new 10yo expression has been released. For Bruichladdich, the “Laddie Ten” 10yo expression is all about fresh starts and new beginnings. New beginnings are something that I am very familiar with (*especially* as of late). New beginnings can be good things (great things) and for Bruichladdich, they sure are.
On the nose – A nice, delicate nose overflowing with scents of chamomile and other teas, dandelion jam with a touch of honey.
Before this, however, there was some spice right upfront and coastal notes that are almost reminiscent of a young Springbank whisky with notes of flinty soil, ozone, coastal long grasses.
A bit herbal as well but very sweet smelling overall.
On the mouth – Like a flavor punch to the mouth this whisky is… with a fantastic mouthfeel!
The flavor is very similar to what I got on the nose but there is an addition of sharp cheese in here which, combined with the sweet of the jam and honey really helps to balance it all out. The roundness comes from a mixture of ex-bourbon & ex-oloroso sherry casks (however, the majority of the whisky in here is from ex-bourbon barrels)
Coming back after a couple of minutes and there is a huge creme brulee quality to this whisky (I’m guessing this comes from some top quality ex-bourbon casks).
Finish – Long in length with a spicy/sweet note that rides the center of my tongue like Jim Morrison’s seven mile long snake…
In sum – A solid whisky that is aggressive yet delicate. It has a way of saying: “Hey guys – here I am. I AM BRUICHLADDICH!” Brilliant stuff that will have a permanent spot on my whisky shelf. I could easily sip on this most any day. Great job Mr. McEwan and the rest of the Bruichladdich team!!
Special thanks goes out to Shane H for the sample!!