Bruichladdich Laddie Ten Review

Bruichladdich Laddie Ten

46% abv

Score:  86.5/100


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

22 thoughts on “Bruichladdich Laddie Ten Review

  1. Robert

    I can’t believe I’m the first to comment on this whisky! It only showed up in our area recently, so I had to buy it, as I had been enjoying occasional drams of Rocks for a while. The bad news is I now have most of my Rocks (the whisky, that is; I still have all the other) and have had to ration myself with the 10, as it is nearly gone. Your review is spot on, but I like it a little better than you (87.5). Very clean and enjoyable with enough complexity to be interesting. Great warm weather dram! Unfortunately the Rocks suffers by comparison, and I can only give it an 81 now. The 10 is almost like a very good blend with it’s quality of spirit and varied notes. Reminds me somewhat of GKS Artists Blend, which is also high quality. I highly recommend it as a more neutral dram to.drink as a relief from peaty or sherried whiskies.

  2. Maestro

    I also graded it a tad higher, but I think this one has a slight novelty that wears off after a while. I bought 2 bottles when I was in Calgary, and have gone through a total of 3 bottles of the stuff (with friends, of course,) in the last year and a half. The first 2 bottles were great, the 3rd lost some of it’s charm. It was initially an A- on my scale, and went down to a low B+ as time went on.

    Have you tried the Port Charlotte 10 yet? (the 46% standard bottle). It’s just as good, if not better.

    1. ATW Post author

      I’ve tried the Peat Project, but not the Port Charlotte 10. I did, however, nab some of the PC10 (cask strength), but it is dustgathering for now. Too many open malts to work through at the moment. I will be grabbing a Port Charlotte 10 soon. Will let you know how I get on with it.

      1. Maestro

        I had originally meant this as a reply to Robert, but clearly I clicked the wrong button. It will be good to know your thoughts on it, though! I’ll have to live vicariously through you, as I only had the pleasure of nabbing a 2oz sample bottle, and the LCBO has not stocked it yet.

        On a side note, I see that KWM has the Laphroaigh Cairdeas Origin listed for $110. The LCBO recently had a flood of the stuff (about 200 bottles) and listed it for $99, which is a steal here. I bought 2, and I have to say that the stuff is some of the best whisky I’ve ever tried. (Keeping that in context: I don’t have the experience that you do). If you get the chance to try it, I would recommend doing so.

        1. ATW Post author

          Cairdeas Origin IS nice. Tried it at the distillery last September and was quite blown away. Wasn’t able to bring any home (though I liked it enough to want to), but was pleasantly surprised to see it brought to our shores not long after coming home. I did, of course, pick some up.

          That might be one of the best LCBO prices I’ve seen.

  3. Robert

    I haven’t had the (or any!) Port Charlotte yet, as it’s not available here. I’ll look for it, though. Still enjoying the Laddie10! I had my last dram of HP18 (don’t worry; I have another) and followed with the 10. Believe it or not, a very nice sequence! Don’t do the L10 first, followed by the HP18, as it brings out a bit of the “baby puke” in the HP. That suggests there is some peat in the Laddie, as this has happened when I drink a peaty whisky and then HP12 or HP18. I did notice peat on the nose the other day when the previous dram had been a bourbon. So much for being ” unpeated”!

  4. ATW Post author

    Keep hearing mixed word on whether or not this is not out of production. I’ve been in touch with the distillery and am to be emailed with some further details, but…as of yet…no answers.

    Anyone hear more?

    1. Robert

      It would be a shame if they drop it. Fine damn whisky for spring/summer sipping on the patio by the pool. Really quality spirit in it.

      1. ATW Post author

        Ok…best I’m finding is that there ARE supply issues and that this (and the 16 and 22) will only be available at the distillery shop. 😦

    1. Skeptic

      While a lot of the attention is focused on the fact that the laddie 19 won’t be readily available, a bigger issue, in my opinion, is that Remy Cointreau will be focusing it’s distributing in larger markets like the US? I hope Canada doesn’t get squeezed.

      Not that I drink this much, but I do like the Laddie Classic and the Peat, neither of which can still be bought in Ontario.

  5. Robert

    I bought the last bottle on the shelf of Laddie 10 a month ago. Now out of the five stores here with the largest selection of scotch, I only see one lonely bottle of Rocks. Doesn’t seem like they are expanding the US market. Oh well! I just picked up two bottles of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (67.2%), a Talisker 18 and two more Auriverdes, so I’m happy. Now if I could just find some more of the elusive 2013 Lagavulin 12. Maybe Diageo is expanding the Canadian market at the expense of the US?

  6. David

    Still about 465 bottles of this stuff left in stores in Ontario, not including the one I rescued today. I don’t drink it, but it had it in Calgary, liked it, and one I have one to sip and one to save. So once I’ve finished my “Laddie classic,” I’ll move to this one.

      1. Jeff

        Ontario’s “just not a big market” – a least that’s what Diageo will tell you when trying to justify a price of $174.95 on 57 North; and it IS Diageo that tells you, and the LCBO, that, because the LCBO has no clue as to the world price of whisky, so it depends on its SUPPLIERS for a lot of direction on what a bottle is worth – while not negotiating prices based on volume that its suppliers tell the LCBO it doesn’t have.

        1. David

          LCBO is the world’s largest single buyer of wine and spirIts with a 10 million person customer base. The industry knows this as well. Don’t forget they had hundreds of laddie 10s a year ago.

          The fact that the LCBO is bad at choosing variety and getting (or passing on) good prices for spirits is frustrating. They seem to do better with wines.

          1. Jeff

            Oh, I agree entirely, but the “Ontario’s just not a big market for us” WAS the rationale which was accepted for the pricing of 57 North to Ontario and, as I was told in an e-mail from LCBO, “The Talisker 57 North is selling for $174.95. Please contact Diageo Canada Inc. at 416-626-2000. The agent sets the price.”

  7. David

    That IS a rip-off! The whisky exchange has it for what would be about 100 dollars.

    And the Agent does not set the price. Th agent ,as sell for a certain price, but the LCBO refuses to negotiate a good price, and sells at huge profits.

    1. Jeff

      I certainly agree with you in the sense that, no matter how a price is arrived at, people buy from the LCBO and not Diageo, and so the LCBO is solely responsible for the prices of products on its shelves – and I told them as much, somewhat to the discomfort of the LCBO Category Manager. But, in the case of 57 North (and I thereby suspect a great many others) Diageo did, by the LCBO’s admission, set the product price and the LCBO accepted that price, the “small market” rationale, and the idea that “in order to secure this allocation of product, Diageo Canada could only offer it at a cost that was competitive against their profitability of selling this product in other markets.” When I asked the Category Manager what “other markets” Ontario was “competing with” to justify an end-user price of $174.95, there was no answer, but I suppose the argument could be made that, after convincing any one retailer to accept pricing on this level, such “competition” did, in theory, exist.

      It could also be an example of price being driven by the somewhat debatable “rarity” and “limited supplies” of this whisky throughout Canada, however, as, even in consumer-friendly Alberta, the Kensington Wine Market currently retails 57 North at $159.99. In BC, in what one would also think would be a far smaller market than Ontario and with greater transport costs, Diageo managed to somehow part with the 190 bottles now spread between 22 stores, each retailing at a price of $174.99. Today, taxes excluded, the average international wine searcher price for 57 North, still a regular Talisker offering, is $87 CAD (Talisker 10 is $63) and that price (hovering around $80 USD) has stayed relatively stable since 2009.

  8. ATW Post author

    @ Ruminsky: The LCBO does a piss poor job with rum, or Bruichladdich does?

    If the latter…I do believe the Renegade Rum line went the way of the dodo. Possibly even before Reynier was unceremoniously ousted. 😦 (And yes…I AM a fan of Mr. Reynier, for many reasons)

  9. Clive

    I loved the freshness of Bruichladdich Peat and Resurrection’s Tahona-like grounded malt barley quality. Resurrection’s floral honey nose did not seem be in 10 at all. 10 had a too strong scotchy taste for me. Almost to level of Springbank. Barley seemed infused with Vegetation but from undergound Water. Not a Snappy Mouth Feel but Rich Creamy Toasted Oak flavors on tongue like Four Roses flavors. Bruichladdich seems like everything so creamy rich from Primium Oak. And that Scotchy taste is like being amped up over the bracing coastal notes. I would prefer it the otherway round!


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