When I realized my whisky cabinet was in a rare Bruichladdich-free state, I jumped on this new (to California) Islay Barley release to fix that.
It’s a 2010 vintage from Bruichladdich’s Islay Barley series, bottled in 2017. The series is meant to be a prime expression of the Islay distillery’s focus on provenance: the idea that a whisky can and should express the region it comes from–down to the farm where the barley is grown.
Many distillers source barley from all around the UK–and even beyond. Bruichladdich bucks this trend. This release is made with unpeated malt from eight clearly identified Islay family farms. (For those keeping score at home, they are Coull, Cruach, Dunlossit, Island, Mulindry, Rockside, Starchmill, and Sunderland.) The whisky was aged ex-bourbon casks and French wine casks for an undisclosed period (presumably 7 years).
Nose: super bright golden malt. Rice pudding dusted with cinnamon. Green banana, grilled pineapple. Touch of musty dry white wine cask, then white chocolate.
The palate is youthful but with admirable complexity. Fresh, grassy, coastal. Toasted rice in soy sauce. Smoky barrel char late on. The finish is long and peppery with lemon rind.
Very well made–an automatic daily dram for me. Bruichladdich, I’m glad to have you back.
Cheers, friends! – BO