Bruichladdich will forever live in infamy for their bold experimentation with different cask maturation, transfers and finishes. The use of wine casks, in particular has become somewhat of a hallmark for this downhome Islay distillery. Much of this can be laid at the feet of master distiller, Jim McEwan, I imagine. But I can’t help but think that the primary catalyst must be Mark Reynier, the man directly responsible for Bruichladdich’s phoenix act. Reynier’s background before tackling the ‘Laddie ressurection was in wine.
Some of these innovations have bordered on genius. Others are more akin to novelty (in the eyes of this humble taster, anyway). Still others are more like Frankenstein’s monster; the pieces simply don’t fit right.
In the case of Redder Still, fortunately, we have the first. This is cask play that has resulted in a bloody good dram.
Grapes and perfume. Orange zest. Creamy swiss chocolate. There is a beautiful melange of mild baking spices, and possibly the faintest hint of cherry in shortbread.
The palate is as sweet as you’d expect. Not only sweet, but wine-rich and slightly tannic. The wood is still singing, but meets some bolder flavors in marzipan and MacIntosh apple. The finish? What do you expect? Imagine ten minutes after a glass of sweet wine. That and a mouthful of apple. Lovely and long.
This is wine maturation done right. Far and away the best of the ‘Still’ series.
…and, man…what a hue on this one!
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt