I recently had the pleasure of being featured on the Amateur Drammer’s Desert Island Drams, and you can peruse my musings here. For our own site, then I thought I’d best post a full review of my dram of choice!
Of all the whiskies available in the world right now, there are few that are as well branded and marketed as Bruichladdich. Whilst they are visibly contemporary they also manage to respectfully maintain the class and history behind their distillery, which is a very difficult balancing act, and this is clearly something that they are proud of. According to the blurb on the bottle, the new Bruichladdich 10 year old unpeated Islay single malt scotch whisky symbolises the hard effort that has gone into the rebranding and restoration of Bruichladdich, led by master distiller Jim McEwan. Having had just one taste of the Laddie Ten you’ll realise that whatever those efforts have been, the rewards are simply astounding.
Sweet vapours rise up on this with hints of the sea spray – exactly like the air at the Laddie Pier at Loch Indaal in fact. The smell of this has taken me right back to sitting on that pier after a great tour and tasting session at Bruichladdich.
It is a light drop but is packed with loads of flavour. Vanilla. Oak. Slight tropical fruit. Sweet apple. Malt. Faint sea salt.
Delicate, quick and more-ish! Vanilla sweetness throughout. It really leaves a sweet kiss behind. It really invites you to take another sip.
Quite simply, it is excellence in a glass. To me, at least. It definitely stands up to the hype and the big branding behind it and delivers something that is timeless and should be a definite standard on anyone’s shelf. That is: if you can get your hands on it. The first time I tried it was at the distillery itself and the original release was absolutely delicious, but I decided to get the Bruichladdich Rocks instead at the time as it was being discontinued. (Notes on the Rocks – so to speak – are available here). Flash forward several months and I managed to find a bottle at a giant Tesco store and managed to forget half of the rest of my shopping as I was stunned to find it there. I happily bought it for £30 or so, and savoured it. What I should have done, was bought two, three or even four, because little did I realise that this delicious drop would also meet the same fate as Rocks (and so many other whiskies), and it soon disappeared from the shelves and has become something of an enigma. The rumour mill is that a second release of it is on the way, but its due to be twice the price that I managed to originally bag it for. Nostalgia aside, this is a whisky that I would come back to again and again, and, whilst that price hike does not sit well with me, surely the right price is the one I’m willing to pay? For this, the tight Whisky Unplugged purse strings might just have to be eased (and that’s saying a lot!)