Bruichladdich Distillery is the one of three «B» (Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain) Islay distilliries which produce lightly peated whisky. That’s why whiskies from these distilliries are often regarded as «not typical Islay single malt whisky».
By the way, Bruichladdich is very old distillery, on of the oldest at Islay. For a long period of time it has its owners keeping changed each other so quickly and constantly that no one of them could set things going.. Invergordon Distillers и JBB / Whyte & Mackay , last two ex-owners were at the helm sequentially from 1968. They‘ve managed to stabilize situation.
And when current owners, a group of private investors later called Bruichladdich Distillery Co. Ltd bought distillery out, they have had a stock of matured malt spirits ready for blending. New owners took advantage of this situation and created a line of fine whiskies that later succeeded at the market.
My bottle of Bruichladdich Islay single malt scotch whisky 12 yo (second edition) is definitely based on spirits produced under JBB / Whyte & Mackay. This bottling has mixed response from malt lovers, most of opinions I red were skeptical.
I remember my delight of first sipping (honestly, it was my first single malt whisky). Later I switched over to heavy peated Islay and mild Highland whiskies and forgot about this bottle. Now I’m about to drink it up, and here is my reasonable (I hope) opinion.
My Bruichladdich Islay single malt scotch whisky 12 yo (second edition) is a 12 years old single malt whisky, 46% ABV based on malt spirits matured in American oak bourbon casks. For dilution, water from local springs was used. The whisky didn’t go through colouring or chill-filtering.
When testing , it was in usual conditions: room temperature, 40 ml whisky in Glencairn whisky glass.
Appearance: pale yellow (is caramel colouring really absent?)
Nose: fruits (sweet apple, ripe prunes), nuts, peat, hints of vanilla, wood and iodine (the last is very light). Sweet aroma, it seems like Speyside whisky.
At the start the taste is full of wood flavour, dry and a bit ascetic. It becomes milder on the swallow when dried fruits undertones appear along with touches of caramelized sugar and peat.
When adding a few drops of water, tartness and dryness both got underlined. The nose becomes milder and more peaty. The depth of aroma appreciably decrease, and fine nuances faded behind powerful wood flavour.
I think this Bruichladdich Islay single malt whisky succeeds in showing its tannin rich aroma but lacks depth and character in general. This whisky has very pleasant nose and ascetic plain taste just like Auchentoshan Classic.
Nevertheless, that’s not bad whisky. Not perfect but higher than average. Definitely it will be good acquisition for single malt novices. Also I recommend to try it with Drambuie in Rusty Nail. That was great!