Back in February this year, I was lucky enough to get the chance to mooch around Bruichladdich distillery despite the fact it was in shut-down mode. I’d shown up not realising repairs were going on but Carl Reavey – head of digital communications – happened to be in and was happy to take me around, all of which I detailed in my recent distillery feature.
Recently, whilst watching a couple of episodes of Orange is the New Black (my current Netflix addiction) I managed to retry a few drops of three of the brand’s whiskies I originally sampled during a Twitter tasting back in October of last year.
All three whiskies surprised and intrigued me for different reasons, much like the storylines and overall dramedy of OITNB (seriously, if you’ve not seen it yet, get ready for some women’s prison drama that will suck you in). As such, I was keen to share my thoughts on them with you…
Bruichladdich Islay Barley: 50% ABV:
Barley harvested 2006; distilled 2007; unpeated (pictured as Dram Two, left):
(c): Runny mustard
(n): Toffee, cream: quite a thick nose. Vanilla, orange peel and corn.
(p): Warming & spicy: cinnamon and honey, cream and lovely gooey toffee. Nice balance between sweet and spice.
(f): Boozy bananas.
In conclusion: a sweet example of an unpeated Bruichladdich. Warming and sweet – a perfect early autumn dram.
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte – Scottish Barley: 50% ABV: (Pictured as Dram Three)
(c): Old straw
(n): Tropical fruits laced with smoke; pineapples, cream, pink peppercorns (almost a floral spice) and a soft hit of toffee at the back.
(p): Great big sweetness on palate at first, followed by gentle, medicinal smoke. Apples, toffee, orange peel, fresh grass all lead, before a sweetness akin to cola bottle candies – there’s a real progression of flavours on this one that I love.
In conclusion: A delight on the nose and palate: sweet, dry, savoury and smoky – a proper mix despite being ‘heavily peated’.
Bruichladdich Octomore 6.1: 5 Year Old: 57% ABV:
(n): Marzipan and raisin cake notes lead, with vanilla, liquorice, nutmeg and sticky smoke (like charcoaled marshmallows!).
(p): Quite acidic and very spicy (in the peppermint/mouthwash spice range), along with oak, vanilla, rich creamy smoke and dark fruits.
(f): Smoky cardboard.
In conclusion: big, bold, sweet and acidic. Lots of smoke but not so overwhelming; manages to retain an amount of delicacy.