Showing posts with label Bruichladdich 15. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bruichladdich 15. Show all posts

Bruichladdich 15 Years Review - Bruichladdich Links No. 10 Valhalla Review - Bruichladdich Scottish Barley Review

                                     
“Bruichladdich Special”

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. At the request of many of my readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific distillery like today or with specific bottlers, countries or regions. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't touch too much details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In this special I will review three random Bruichladdich Single Malts. Enjoy!
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Image result for bruichladdich 15 years first edition


Whisky Review # 786

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon Casks (85%) + First Fill Spanish Oloroso Casks (15%)
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-100 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: ­čśČInteresting but not flawless. Price/Quality ratio: Okay.

Colour:

Light Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Quite Sweet and a little Thin. The Sherry influence is noticeable. Dried Fruit and Fortified Red Wines call the immediate attention. There are a few Sour and Salty notes as well. Nothing very complex. The tiniest hint of Smoke. Unfortunately, the Alcohol is not fully integrated.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butterscotch, Vanilla, Salted Toffee, Dried Fruit like Apricot and Apple, Pineapple, Red Berries, Orange, Grapefruit, Banana, Mint, Milk Chocolate, and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Dough, Floral Perfume, Lemon, Tangerine, Coconut, Dry Earth and Wood-Shavings.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet and a little Edgy. A few Sour notes as well. Musty & Dusty! Not a lot of complexity though.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Caramel, Dried Apricot, Nuts, Grass, Red Grapes, Melon, Banana, Orange, Grapefruit, Dusty Oak, Pepper and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Heather-Honey, Pineapple, Tangerine, Coconut, Red Berries, Wet Rock, Dusty Track and Ginger.

Finish:

Middle-Long, a little Sharp and Bitter-Sweet. Medium-Dry, a bit Edgy and Old-Fashioned. A metal off-note is clearly noticeable towards the end. I find Toasted Barley, Dry Earth, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Dried Fruit (Apricot) and Nuts, Grass, Red Grapes, Orange, Grapefruit, Apple, Bitter Oak, Pepper, Ginger and Menthol.


Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and that relaxes the Spirit. Lots of Barley & Citrus. The Finish gets even more Menthol this way. You can carefully experiment with a few drops at a time.

Rating: 82

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience:

Good. Quite straight-forward and a little Dusty.

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its 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 and the very heavily peated Octomore. The basic core range for Bruichladdich includes The Classic Laddie, Islay Barley 2010 & Black Art 5.

The 15 Years I'm reviewing today was launched in 2003. I bought a miniature on Islay during my visit in 2014 that was bottled 1 to 2 years earlier. This 15 Years is known as the 1st Edition. The 2nd Edition was partly matured in sweet Sauternes Whine casks from France. The First Edition is still available in places.

The 15 Years 1st Edition is a simple and straight-forward "Old-Fashioned" malt. It has not been "prepared" for the big markets. There are a few rough edges  and the Finish suffers from the Metal off-note. It's a bit on the light side for a 15 Year old Whisky. I kinda like this style but I feel that a little more care during distillation and maturation could have produced a much better 15 Years. A bit of a missed chance I'm afraid. Still, sufficiently interesting and not too expensive if you can find it at around US$ 75.

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Image result for bruichladdich links No. 10 Valhalla USA

Whisky Review # 787

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Links No. 10 Valhalla USA - Limited Ed. - 18000 Bottles
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon Casks with Chateau Climens, Barsac Sauternes Wine Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 180-220 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: ­čśŐGood interesting, old-fashioned, stuff. Quite expensive!

Colour:

Deep Golden with shades of Red and Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Full, a bit Heavy and Sweet. Please give it enough time in the glass before you start Nosing as the Alcohol is quite noticeable. The Sauternes influence is very obvious. It smells almost like a Whisky Liqueur. This Valhalla will certainly bring your Nose in the Christmas mood. There are many Sherry Monsters around but this Bruichladdich comes close to being a Sauternes-Monster!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Golden Syrup, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas, and Apricots, Nuts, Yeast, Orange, Peach, Tinned Pineapple, Cinnamon & Dusty Oak.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Marzipan, Sour Grapes, Floral Perfume, Forest Soil, Dusty Track, Honey, Sweet Apples, Nectarine, Pepper and Ginger.


Palate:

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire! I don't actually taste Chestnuts but the X-mas feeling to this Valhalla is crystal clear. Again a little on the Heavy side but comforting nevertheless. I'm tasting Valhalla while temperatures in Sao Paulo today have reached 34 Degrees Celsius. I perspire but still manage to imagine Christmas!

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Golden Syrup,  Dried Fruit like Apricot, Raisins and Papaya, Sour Grapes, Red Apple, Orange, Peach, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cocoa Powder, Oak and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Sweet Almonds, Pineapple, Lime, Pear, Nutmeg, Ginger and Leather.

Finish:

Good Length. Dry with Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. The Bitterness increases towards the end. I find Sweet Barley, Sauternes, Dried Fruit like Apricots and Papaya, Sour Grapes, Red Apple, Orange, Lime, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Dusty Track, Menthol, Oak, Dark Chocolate and Leather.


Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and the Peach develops on the Nose. The overall Aroma and Flavour profile does not change a whole lot but the Valhalla certainly will accept a few drops of Water.

Rating: 86

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience:

Good.

Conclusion:

The Bruichladdich Links series was released in 2003. The Tins and Labels show a number of famous Golf Courses painted by Graham Baxter. The Valhalla I'm reviewing today was # 10 in the series. The Label shows a reproduction of the 13th Hole of the Valhalla Golf Course in Kentucky (USA) that hosted the Ryder Cup in 2008.

Valhalla was finished in casks that previously held Chateau Climens, a Premier Cru Classe Sauternes wine producer from Barsac in the Southern part of the Bordeaux region. The grape variety is 100% Semillon.

In general I'm not the greatest fan of Wine Finishing but there are always a few exceptions and this is one of them. The Valhalla is not perfect and a bit Heavy and Dusty in places but the combination of the unpeated Bruichladdich and the Sweet Dessert Sauternes Wine of Chateau Climens seems to work. Valhalla is not your everyday to-go-to Single Malt but around Christmas time this Islay Malt will do just fine in combination with a Sweet Dessert. I'm sure the Viking warriors would please Odin in offering him a glass or two of this Bruichladdich in Asgard. Skal!

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Image result for bruichladdich scottish barley

Whisky Review # 788

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bruichladdich Scottish Barley
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (Probably 6-8 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: American Oak Ex-Bourbon Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 45-55 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: ­čśíNegative. Not good enough. P/Q ratio: ­čĹÄ

Colour:

Bright Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and Edgy. The Alcohol is quite noticeable so be sure to give this Malt a lot of time in the glass before Nosing. The Nose is mainly Sweet but there are a few slightly Sour notes as well. There are some unwanted hints of Plastic Toys and Lemony Glass Cleaner. In that sense, the Scottish Barley is unique!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Kekse, Salted Caramel, Grass/Hay, Orange, Sweet Apples, Floral Perfume, Fresh Herbs, Menthol, Cinnamon and Oak.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Lager Beer, Wet Sand, Tangerine, Raisins, Cherry Flavoured Candies, Pear, Pineapple, Nutmeg and Tobacco.


Palate:

Young and rather Sharp. The Alcohol is over the top here. Some Metallic and Rubbery Off-Notes. A mix of Sweet, Sour and Bitter tones.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Grass/Hay, Floral Soap, Sweet Apples, Fresh Herbs, Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Grappa, Oak, Cinnamon, Pepper, Licorice and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Honey, Pineapple, Pear, Melon, Nutmeg and Tobacco.

Finish:

Short and a little Hot. The Alcohol is really present. This is without any doubt Young Whisky and there's a New Make Spirit/Grappa feel to the Finish. Mainly Sweet and Sour notes with increasing Bitterness towards the Medium-Dry end. I do find a light Metallic Off-Note as well alongside Toasted Cereals, Salty Toffee, Honey, Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Apple, Oak, Grass/Hay, Herbal Tea, Tobacco, Wet Sand, Rubber, Pepper and Menthol.


Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of of Water but the only positive effect is that the Alcohol burns less. Other than that you basically kill this Malt even given its high ABV.

Rating: 78

Nose: 20 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 19.5

Drinking Experience:

Below Average.

Conclusion:

Scottish Barley was released in 2013 and it probably won't surprise you that it was created by Jim McEwan using 100% Barley from Scotland. This unpeated Single Malt is said to have been matured in American Oak casks in warehouses directly situated alongside Loch Indaal, close to Port Charlotte.

This is easily the weakest Bruichladdich I've tasted so far. The only remarkable feature is the striking turquoise-coloured bottle. Other than that this just Young Spirit that "matured" in indifferent Wood and received an unnecessary high ABV of 50%. And as the final result is a below-average Single Malt, nobody should care if it's made of 100% Scottish Barley or not. Back to the drawing-board please! This just isn't good enough!

Jan van den Ende                                                             December 19 , 2018

All Pictures were taken during our visit to Bruichladdich in May 2014