Tag Archive: Bruichladdich


bruichladdich-octomore-10-year2nd-release

Bruichladdich: Octomore: 10 Years(2nd Release) (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 10 Year: 57.3% ABV)

Visual: Dark gold.

Viscosity: Very fast thick streaks.

Nose: Smokey bacon. Lots of peat smoke. Slight salt. Smoked beef. Beef stew and pigs in blankets. Slight cherry pocked digestives.

Body: Honey. Huge peat. Lime. Dried beef. Slight cherries. Sauternes wine. Water adds peach and honey and makes much sweeter. Slight custard sweetness notes.

Finish: Alcohol tingle. Salt. Very medicinal. Slightly numbing. Honey. Peach syrup added with water.

Conclusion: This is so much sweeter than the younger Octomore! It still comes in with the heavy peat and medicinal style though, do not worry. As it has soothed a bit with age that now comes across as a massively meaty feast of a whisky – especially on the nose. Kind of a smoked meat (especially smoked bacon) fest, That aroma however does not hint at a lot of what is to come. In fact originally it comes across more smoked meat than even the other Octomores I have tried.

The body keeps the peaty character, but is much more honeyed, and has an almost Sauternes wine sweet character. It is so sweet and fruity under the heavy peat that it is less that smooth assault you might expect and is instead a much more complex yet still peaty beast. Without water the finish is very medicinal, again calling to its roots as a more harsh whisky, water again brings out that sweetness.

It is so unexpected – still meaty. Still peaty – but very much tamed by the newfound sweetness. Even slight custard sweetness over the salted Islay base. If you want sheer assault then this has moved away from that and you will be let down. If you want a big sweet Islay style peated whisky – well this is very good and still intense. The honey wine soaked meat feast peat whisky.

Background: Fourth whisky at the uber whisky tasting at Independent Spirit. I loved my previous experience with the Octomore so was very much looking forwards to trying this 10 year version. Now, while it is peated at 167 ppm, age tends to take away peat character quite quickly – so wasn’t quite sure how this would work out for intensity. Also this has been aged in both Bourbon and the more unusual Grenache Blac casks. One of 18,000 bottles – so fairly but not insanely rare. My whisky glass photos are getting a bit crap now – sorry – alcohol influence! As before due to the social event and the number of whiskies tried, by notes may not be as detailed as normal – nor it seems my photos. As always I tried my best.

Advertisements

Octomore 6 1

Bruichladdich: Octomore 6.1 (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 5 Year: 57% ABV)

Visual: Clear grain gold.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Very dry. White wine. Medicinal. Alcohol tingling feel. Peppered beef. Orange liquore. Water adds sulphur and makes suddenly very peaty and slightly grassy.

Body: Peat. Prickling feel. Beef slices. Medicinal and drying. Pepper. Grapes. Dessert wine. Vanilla toffee. Grassy. Oak. Apples. Water adds vanilla cream and emphasises the peat.

Finish: Smoke. Dry, Vanilla. Beef jerky. Peat. Light paprika. Toffee. Medicinal character. Cardamom. Rice. Apples and light lime.

Conclusion: This is intense and immense. Oddly the immense character comes less in the form of smoke and more in the very medicinal character that dominates the early part of the spirit. The peat brings in beef slices and does still bring in a reasonable heft of smoke, all very drying. It is an experience just for that but behind the punch there is light vanilla sweetness and wine like white grapes, surprisingly delicate notes behind the assault and a great balance to the peat. While it is not as complex as Ardbog it is just as thrilling as you would expect.

Oddly, after having the 5.1 a year ago, this is actually less drying and more towards the medicinal as said, as opposed to the 5.1 which was more thick peat feel. This however balances much better, there is more room, when you acclimatise, to feel the softer notes behind.

With water added it becomes even more overpowering in the peat, causing an initial gasp of surprise as the water has the exact opposite effect of the expected. The huge, bigger peat however gains an even softer backing with apples in amongst the grapes. It is much lovelier here, richer and smoother without any sacrifice to the peat. With more water it becomes creamier and creamier behind the medicinal front. The further you go, the more it becomes an exercise in contradicting notes that somehow work.

Intense neat, wine like and yet harshly powerful with water, creamy strength and peaty with even more water, it is never super complex but never lets down on its reputation. Very full, and yet can feel so surprisingly soft at times as you become used to the peat. Well worth trying for what it is, both an experience and a good whisky.

Background: One thousand drink reviews! That is just slightly scary, but for the big 1K we have this special number. At 167 ppm this is nearly the peatiest whisky ever (version 5.1 which I tried but never reviewed was 169). This was drunk at the amazing Independent Spirit Rare Whisky event at Circo. When they say rare they mean rare, while there are still some bottles of this still available they tend to go very fast and then the price rockets up. We had five whiskys that night, with other guests, my friend Matt, and Chris from Independent spirits all giving their thoughts. Since I know how easy it is to get psychosomatic flavours after someone else mentions them consider the above a view of the general opinion on the whisky so I can call it a feature rather than a bug. Due to the nature of the event my notes were somewhat haphazard, but hopefully I’ve managed to put them together into something readable. Thanks to the guys at Independent spirit for such an awesome event and for giving me a cheer for completing my thousandth review.

Laddien 10

Bruichladdich: The Laddie Ten (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 10 year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Deep gold.

Viscosity: Quite fast thick streaks.

Nose: Light smoke. Grapes. Light salt and lightly medicinal.

Body: Salt. Broth. Grapes. Vanilla. Smooth. Tangerine. Water sweetens to more grapes and adds green fruits, apples maybe. Touch of liquorice near the end.

Finish: Coffee in mild amounts. Salt. Medicinal. Gin feel. Tangerine. Water adds apples and grapes.

Conclusion: Unpeated they say, I wouldn’t have guessed from the aroma. While it isn’t peated it does have smoke and it sure shows that Islay character, and the two are heavily linked in my mind. When you try it without water some of this character even follows through into the main body.

Now if you add water it is an entirely different ball game, you get unexpected green fruit with grapes and apples all bright and shining amongst the still present Islay character. It is juicy, again going against type. The finish however never hides what it is. Salty, dry and so very Islay.

The finish feels like both a capstone, and slightly out of place. It reminds you of the birthplace of the whisky, but it is so different from the soft apples and fruit of main body of the whisky that it goes against those strengths it has built up.

That is a minor flaw as the lovely different take on a whisky within the Islay range makes it worth trying by itself. There is a lot of character, not the character you would expect but that is what makes it worth it.

Rough at the edges but that is part of the charm in a way, and a worthwhile and distinct expression.

Background: Found at “The Star” in Bath who usually have a nice selection of whisky going on there. This is, according to the label an unpeated whisky, and Bruichladdich often have very low peat levels in their whisky, usual for an Islay distillery. I’ve been hearing good things about the Laddie Ten so when I got the chance to try a measure I thought I should give it a go.

Bruichladdich: Port Charlotte: An Turas Mor (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: no age statement: 46% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold.

Viscosity:  A lot of fast thin streaks.

Nose:  Peat and smoke.  Light dried beef jerky.  Campfire ash.  Dry pomegranates.  Water makes more broth like. Beef crisps.  Aniseed and peppercorn.

Body: Burnt and peated. Touch of sweet syrup below that. Charred thin beef slice. Dried apricot, pomegranate and vanilla cream. Water makes sweeter and the meat and peat roils in.

Finish: Dry. Chocolate and smoke. Slightly medicinal dryness.  Light charring. Dried peach slices. Water makes more chocolate and smoke.

Conclusion: I’ve played with a few whiskys recently that turned out to be very dry and peaty and a few of them have turned out a bit too mouth drying and antiseptic for me. Oft the ones with higher alcohol content exacerbating the effect.

On first sip I thought this one was going to be another of those. The dry peat and medicinal style is distinctly present, but backed up with light fruit and sweetness.  Then a few meagre drips of water take that edge off balancing it up just right.

Smoke on the nose, sweet and peat then into fantastic dryness and chocolate which gives great mouth freshness. It is still dry, even the fruit feels like dried fruit. The added flavour range does not reduce the distinctive style.

Near the end of the drink the alcohol becomes tongue numbing in intensity, even with the water and in but a single measure.  It is possible the whisky would have benefited from a touch more water but since I enjoyed the flavour balance so much I did not want to risk ruining it.  As is it has an impressively bracing style. If you have access to a full bottle I would advise taking some time to play with it as I’m fairly sure it will have a better range than I found.

The fruit to kick balance is impressive and I really want to return to it at some point to experiment more. A very impressive dry peat whisky with good complexity for the punch.

Background: An Turas Mor is apparently Gaelic for Great Journey. This is best I know the only multi vintage version of Port Charlotte with the rest being yearly releases of the evolving spirit. Port Charlotte is the name of the peated version of the Bruichladdich and has a good reputation in the whisky world. Found at the “Tasting Rooms” I just had to give it try.

Bruichladdich: Waves (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: No Age Statement: 46%)

Visual: Very rich rose and apricot colour. Almost perfumeqsue. Very unusual

Nose: Peat beef and smoke. Light planed wood. Quite smooth. Water brings out a slight sulphur egg smell.

Body: Contradicts the nose by being rich and fruity. Peaches and apricots. Peat back. Sweet syrup. Beef casserole. Some custard in the sweetens as well. Spice red grapes. Water makes even sweeter and spicier.

Finish: Dried apricot. Light wood. Grows into some malt taste. Water makes a mulled wine touch that lasts long.

Conclusion: The first sip, they say, is taken with the eye.  Or is it the first bite. Same idea anyway.  This performs wonderfully to that first bite. Beautiful with an almost perfume and apricot colour, and it’s a nice visual key that you are about to try something a bit different.

The difference skips the aroma though. It has the usual pungent sulphur smell. Nice but not usual.  The difference then is in the main body. Bruichladdich is one of the milder Islays usually, but this brings quite the beef stew feel and a touch of island peat against a huge fruitiness. This fruitiness and spiciness is the wonderful part, unusual and works so well against the main dram.  The flavours don’t dim with water, instead expanding. The sweetness in particular booms post the first drops, easily strong enough to combat the Islay style.

Overall it gives that touch of extra character which Bruichladdich may need to stand out from its fellows, and a great touch it is.  It’s still not quite as complex as some of the other examples form the region, but in this case is definitely different and accentuates Bruichladdich’s quirks.

An easy sipping balance of sweet to peat. A relaxing Islay that I must say I do like

Background: Odd one to do research on here. The whisky menu listed this as a ten year, online research suggest seven. The bottle gives no clue. Also there seems to be different versions of this finished in different fashions. Best guess I think this one was finished in a Madeira cask, but don’t quote me on that. Fits the taste profile though. Drunk at The Tasting Room, where despite the fact I and my friends have been a bare two times, we were remembered and greeted with friendly conversation.  The latter half of the dram was had with some shortbread which was a nice accompaniment. Thanks to Dylan for providing the improvised background on this photo.

Bruichladdich 12 (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky:12 Years: 46% ABV)

Visual: Reasonably light golden glaze.

Viscosity: Quite a few middling width fast streaks.

Nose: Very light peat, sulphur and brimstone with light oak and beef.  Just slightly salty. Not too heavy for an Islay, but still noticeably of the style.  Slight syrup undertone. Becomes more brine influenced with water, and adds dry beef powder or beef crisps style influence.

Body: Meaty and again surprisingly lightly peated, syrup in the body. Salt water comes out with a drop of water, yet mixes with sweet syrup.

Finish: Meat and salt, slight chocolate cream and charring. More salt and sea water comes out with a drop of water.

Conclusion: An impressively subtle Islay with all of the style but the punch turned way down.  Very beefy and meaty oriented which gives a great texture, and this beef dusting style makes for an interesting nose, though the sulphur influences does not mix well and adds an unwelcome whiff until you put in a touch of water.

The brine aspect from adding water gives a bit of extra interest and makes a sea breeze take on the whisky, well sea breeze munching on a cow if that makes any kind of sense.

It’s amazing what you will write sometimes, whilst drinking whisky, anyway, back to the tasting.

It’s a flavoursome Islay whisky, distinctive without being overpowering, and from what I can find, the very light peat seeming aspects are most likely not from peat at all, as the whisky itself is made from unpeated malt.  A very interesting drink then.

(Guest Note: Will suggests that when I say sulphur in this tasting, I mean in fact it smells like a wet fart. I could not possibly comment)

%d bloggers like this: