The culmination of ten years of blood, sweat and tears. Errr…hopefully none of which is fully realized inside the bottle itself.
While most fledgling distilleries would be holding their breath in anticipation as to whether or not their finally mature new spirit would live up to hope and hype, I imagine the folks at Bruichladdich were simply sitting back waiting for the party. They knew they had a good product…they’d already had accolades and awards heaped on them…and they’d also been releasing young editions of their distillate under various names and incarnations for a few years by this point.
Even so, I guess, there would have likely been a ‘we’ve arrived!’ type celebration (much like Ardbeg experienced a few years back after their own resurrection).
What we have in hand now is Bruichladdich’s first new 10 year old malt consisting entirely of whisky produced under the new reign. Remember…the distillery only reopened just over a decade ago. And…as the vast majority of critical voices are affirming…it’s a damn decent dram.
The nose here speaks volumes as to the inherent quality of the pure spirit itself that Bruichladdich is producing. Clean, salty and infinitely quaffable. Caramel and crème brulee with toasted marshmallow. The wee tiniest bit of peat and dry smoke…and I mean tiny. Some iodine and straw. Malty and figgy sweetness. Splash of lemon. Seems like a bit of youthful maturation in there with maybe…maybe(?) a whiff of sulphur. Still vaguely young and spirity.
A young, rather clean drink. Good solid heft, but rather hard to describe as there isn’t really a defining characteristic. This is not a bad thing. I only mention because we are so used to a very defined profile in our drams (peaty, sweet and sherried, old and woody, tropical and rich, vanilla’d and spicy, etc). Here we have the ghost of peat and smoke met with invigorating seaspray and tingly citric notes. Somewhat of a fruity backbone, really. And yes…the sweet barley sugar notes and oak are notable.
I won’t call this a ‘great’ dram, but I will say it is great for ten years. And to give proper due…it’s a very, very good drink. Bruichladdich has crafted something they should be proud of. Not quite there yet, but this is a whisky that will be a beauty at 17 or 18 years. Can’t wait to follow this journey through the years.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt