Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scotch Roundup: October

Last month, I was lucky enough to attend a Bruichladdich tasting arranged by Joe at Federal W&S.  This tasting was an especially memorable treat as we were led by Jim McEwan, the noted master distiller of Bruichladdich.  Formerly of Bowmore, Jim partnered with some investors a little over ten years ago to buy the defunct Bruichladdich distillery and restore its antique stills to functional form.  Ever since then, he has been meticulously producing small-batch scotches that have garnered significant acclaim.  As he spoke about the whiskies, his passion for the art was absolutely evident, and this passion was apparent in the glass as well.

Bruichladdich Laddie Ten
Tasting notes:
  • Laddie Ten
    Honey, ocean breeze, lemon taffy
    P: Peaches, Midori, oaky vanilla, honey on light toast
    All the barley that goes into this whisky comes from Islay itself, and the spirit is aged in bourbon and sherry casks
  • Bruichladdich 21
    Dried figs, candied orange peels, dates, pralines
    P: Raisins in abundance, honey nut cheerios, walnuts
    Aged in oloroso sherry casks, recommended without water
  • Black Art 2
    Black cherry, pomegranate, drying paint
    P: Cherries, amaretto, malted grains, kirsch, strawberries
    Jim would not share how this whisky was aged, but I would venture to guess Bordeaux wine casks
  • Port Charlotte PC6
    N: Throwing wet hay on a fire, drying herbs in a farmhouse, jamon, vanilla, toffee, sweet cream
    P: Burnt toast, vanilla creme wafers, tart apples, sichuan peppercorn, salted preserved lemon
    Second in the PC series, aged in madeira casks, worth comparing to the PC8
Bruichladdich 21
Additionally, the Organic 2003 was tasted by the group, but I did not get any.  I definitely do feel fortunate that we were among the first people in the US to get a taste of the new Laddie Ten, which is the bottling of scotch under the Bruichladdich name made entirely by the new owners.  My understanding is that the majority of the Bruichladdich on the market now is spirit distilled by the old owners, such as the 21 year.  For some hyperbolic and imaginative prose, it is worth checking out Jim's tasting notes, available on the Bruichladdich website.

Black Art 2

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