“Home of the finest Islay malt whisky”
I’m generally a beer man, but there are times where something stronger is needed. Some years back at a party, I was introduced to a whisky that has become my favorite. The clean, complex flavors of Bruichladdich have captivated me ever since.
On the remote Atlantic Isle of Islay, off the coast of Scotland, the small, privately-owned distillery Bruichladdich produces artisanal Single Malt Whisky as it was in 1881. The harsh Hebridean island climate is so instrumental in their whisky distilling, the Bruichladdich website even includes current weather conditions (and the sound of pounding surf and wind).
What was that about whisky?
My best man Matt gave me 3 bottles of Bruichladdich as a wedding gift. Two of those bottles have been enjoyed since then, but the third remains unopened. Bottled at 15 years, the now 17-year whisky has been saved for the right occasion. For us, that occasion will be the birth of our first child in December.
Part of the appeal of Bruichladdich, though, is the variety of whisky they produce. From their flagship Bruichladdich Classic 10 to the so-powerful-it-even-scares-Scots Bruichladdich Octomore, Bruichladdich whiskies can be smoother than baby bum, or so rough and peaty you’d swear you’d been whisked away to Islay itself.
Bruichladdich whiskies are hand-crafted drams of beauties. These guys don’t take shortcuts, and they take “keep it local” to a new level. From water to barley sourcing, they bring in all ingredients as close to the distillery as possible. The result of close-to-home sourcing, plus endless intuition and craftsmanship, comes through in every glass: whisky that transforms and transports you, whether in dreams around the world, or deep into yourself. Bruichladdich is whisky to celebrate all of life’s loud and quiet moments by.
That’s my blather though. You might want an expert opinion
Here’s how Mark Gillespie of Whiskycast described the recently released Laddie 10, which is bottled at 46% ABV, mostly from bourbon casks with a small percentage of oloroso sherry casks:
The nose is light and ﬂoral with rose petals, a touch of vanilla and honey and a slightly briny marine note, that wet sand touch. The taste is oily, thick, and slightly tart at ﬁrst, with ﬂoral touches, some nice spicy hints of allspice and hazelnut, and dried apricots and peaches to round things out. The ﬁnish is long, tart, overall very fresh and vibrant; if you have ever tried the old Bruichladdich 15 year old, the 1st edition, it is very similar to that one. It’s an outstanding whisky, I am scoring The Laddie 10 a 93%.
While some of you lucky buggers can purchase directly from the Bruichladdich online shop, we Yanks are not so lucky. Bruichladdich may be available from various fine liquor importers and some liquor shops. It is also available from Park Avenue Liquor (though of course some shipping limitations apply).
Have a dram
I am a big Bruichladdich fanboy, and I’ve blathered on about them more than usual. Just so we’re clear, no free whisky has appeared in my home as a result of this piece (I’m sad to say), nor did I write it due to receipt of any freebies or schwag or some such from the fine folks at Bruichladdich. I’ve just wanted to sing their praises for a while—for some of the finest whisky on the planet, and am glad to finally get around to doing so.
Though if they do want to kick a few bottles my way…