Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, American Virgin Oak, ex-Bordeaux Wine and ex-Ribera Wine
Added coloring: No
Owner: Bruichladdich (Rèmy Cointreau)
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: www.bruichladdich.com
Bruichladdich’s research and focus on malts has made it one of Scotland’s most experimental and forward-thinking distilleries of modern times. As we have already discussed in the article on Islay Barley, the whiskies of this producer can legitimately use the terms terroir and cuvée, given the use and blend of malts whose provenance clearly differentiates one bottling from another. For some it may seem like splitting hair, but bear in mind that for most people the difference between one whisky and another is all in the age (and colour), and the NAS (and the abundant use of caramel colouring) has already upset the applecart. A distillate (any distillate) is the fruit of so many elements of a different nature (raw materials, storage, mixture, position, time…) that it is almost impossible to control them all.
Hence the search for a precise identity that is not a pleonastic parochialism, but real experimentation with the territory, made of malts and water, ageing barrels and their geographical location.
With this bottling, Bruichladdich focused on Scottish malts, ageing in Port Charlotte and a sophisticated mix of casks from different origins (Head Distiller Adam Hannett, who created this batch, is responsible for over 60,000 casks).
More unique than rare, on their website you can search for your bottle by the batch code printed on the side, and find out exactly what it’s made of: if you don’t have one in your hands, try mine (18/013) and find out what exactly I’m drinking.
A beautiful deep gold colour, the wording Heavily Peated would lead one to expect an exuberant peat on the nose, but we are in for a surprise: vanilla and caramel sit nicely on this bed of vegetable peat, with an elegant and delicate bouquet in which the toast is almost not perceived, letting the more marine aspect of Port Charlotte prevail. The 50% alcohol content is unremarkable (in a good way).
On the palate, the alcohol content greets us boldly, pushing the peat to higher levels, nice and meaty but still with a clear marine salinity. Orange and vanilla go hand in hand, dancing to a pleasant lemony melody with spicy inserts. Overall, a well-balanced, harmonious blend of aromas that caress the palate where one would have expected a manly handshake: an amazing balance in its elegance.
The finish is pleasantly long, toasty and spicy.
Looking at the list of barrels used (no less than 78 for this batch, ranging in age from 8 to 13 years!), one can only admire the painstaking work of blending each individual ageing to create a final product of truly admirable balance and elegance.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Bruichladdich 10yo (1980’s)
Cadenhead’s Bruichladdich 22yo
Chorlton Whisky Lochindaal 12yo
Octomore 10yo 3rd Edition
Port Charlotte 10yo Heavily Peated
Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011
Port Charlotte MC: 01 2009
Port Charlotte OLC:01 2010
Valinch & Mallet Bruichladdich 15yo Madeira Cask
Valinch & Mallet Bruichladdich 19yo
The Whiskey Jug