Distiller: Bruichladdich. 46% ABV. Age: 6 years. Region: Islay. Price: $80.
I recently attended a Bruichladdich tasting event where head distiller Adam Hannett stressed the importance of terroir–the expression of a spirit’s geographic origins in its flavors–and the provenance of their whisky’s ingredients. Although this is apparent in a number of current Bruichladdich’s offerings that source Islay barley from single farms, this bottle, released in 2009, seems to be the one that kicked off this approach to distilling on Islay.
The Bruichladdich Organic 2003 was the first organic Islay single malt, and is made of 100% Scottish barley, from William Rose at Culblair Farm. Matured in both new and used American oak casks, there were 15,000 bottles released. On the nose are notes of freshly mowed grass and ground lemon rinds. The use of virgin oak is present on the palate with spice and vanilla combined with more citrus and also light floral notes. The spice continues on the finish.
What I enjoy most about this 6-year-old soothsayer is the glimpse it gave us of what was to come from this great distiller. Cheers! -JTR