Bruichladdich 1993 (WM Cadenhead)

”Wooden Heart”

Whisky Review # 971

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich 1993
Aged by and Bottled for: WM Cadenhead, Campbeltown for Bresser & Timmer (NL)
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - 240 Bottles
Age: 25 Years (1993 - 2018)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 49.3% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon Hogshead - Cask #: Unknown
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 180-220  (November 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Reasonable for a 25-year old Single Malt
Buying Advice: 😐Woody Woodpeckers might love this one. Disappointing for the rest of us I'm afraid


Golden (Natural Color)


I advise you to give this Bruichladdich some time in the glass before Nosing to avoid the initial waft of Varnish. The Nose is quite timid and you will need patience & time to unravel its Aromas. You will find Sweet, Sour and Bitter notes after a while. It's also quite Woody to the point that it probably should've been bottled a few years earlier. The Nose is not bad but on the Light side and I was certainly expecting much more from a 25 Year old Bruichladdich. The Alcohol is noticeable but does not interfere with the Nosing procedures.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Banana, Grapefruit Juice, Gooseberry, Lemon, Wet Rocks and Sand, Sea Spray, Dusty Oak, Cinnamon, Mint and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Brown Sugar, Bounty Bars, Nougat, Almonds, Floral notes, Nectarine, White Apricot, Pear, Green Apple, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Nutmeg, Pepper, Varnish and hints of Char, Sea Shells and Shrimps.


A mix of Bitter, Sweet, Sour and Salty notes. The Malt shows its age and Wood and Wood Spices take over from this point. Quite Dry and a bit Dirty and Musty.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel/Toffee, Vanilla, Grass and Straw, Grapefruit, Lemon, Gooseberry, Nectarine, Wet Rocks, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mint & Cardamom.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Brown Sugar, Honey, Almonds, Sea Spray, Mandarin, Pear, Green Apple, Slivovitz, Bounty Bar, Nougat, Char, Dusty Track, Polished Leather, Herbal Tea, Licorice, Clove and Currie.


Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet, Salty and very Dry. The Alcohol is quite noticeable now. I find Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel/Toffee, Brown Sugar, Hay, Shredded Coconut, Almonds, Nectarine, Pear, Grapefruit, Lemon, Gooseberry, Polished Leather, Herbal Tea, Varnish, Dusty Oak, Licorice, Menthol, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Char and Spicy Currie.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to develop the Malty, Fruity and Vanilla notes on the Nose. Palate and Finish do not really show new developments but the Alcohol is much better integrated this way. In this case I prefer it with a little Water.

Rating: 85.5 - Stars on a 1-10 scale: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

A few of my loyal readers have pointed out that every once in a while my final Rating note does not seem to be totally in line with the written text. I recognize that. When I started this Whisky Blog back in 2011, I was not at all experienced in tasting and scoring Single Malts & Blends. Looking back I realize that during the early years I probably scored the good Whiskies too low and the not so good Whiskies too high. Ever since the beginning I try to remain consequent in my rating, always comparing the outcome to the rating of comparable whiskies in terms of quality and taste and adjusting the final rating if necessary. This might lead to the discrepancy I mentioned before. It would have been much easier if I would have chosen a simple 1-10 rating since the beginning but after having reviewed 950 whiskies it would not be wise to change the system now. I will however from now on add stars on the 1-10 scale so you will have a better idea of what I thought of the whisky reviewed. Please feel free to comment! And I'm planning to only use the 1-10 scale as of January 1, 2023. Please feel free to comment!

Drinking Experience Neat
: Good but overly Woody


Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its long history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the Islay distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau (France). Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces 3 types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich & the heavily peated Port Charlotte & Octomore. The basic core range includes the Classic Laddie and a 10-year old Port Charlotte. The annual production amounts to around 1.3 million litres.
It does not happen a lot that I get the chance to taste a 25 year-old Single Malt. So I was looking forward to try this Bruichladdich. It was not as good as expected and there are two main reasons for that regarding the Spirit & the Wood. As you might know, Bruichladdich was mothballed several times during its history. One of these events happened in 1995, less than 2 years after this Bruichladdich was distilled. This might have affected the middle-running time through the Spirit Safe as the management was looking for quantity rather than quality. It would account for the slightly Dirty feeling on the Palate. And as far as the Wood is concerned I'm of the opinion that this Bruichladdich should probably have been bottled a few years earlier. You don't notice this so much on the Nose but the Palate and the Finish are totally dominated by Wood & Spices. It was interesting to try a sample but I would not buy a full bottle of this Bruichladdich.

Cheers! 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                   November 24, 2022

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014

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