This is an unpeated whisky made from bere barley – an ancient Orkney barley that grows quickly despite the cool climate, with long straw, producing “desperately low yields – 50% less than a modern crop.”
It is Bruichladdich’s 3rd Bere Barley edition from the 2007 crop, harvested from the Weyland & Watersfield, Duncan Cromarty at Richmond Villa on South Ronaldsay, Keith Hourston at Skilbister in Orphir and Magnus Spence from the Northfiled Farms on Murray. The whisky was distilled in February 2008 and bottled in November 2014.
What did the Whisky Ladies think of the Bere Barley 2008 50%?
- Nose – Sweet cammomile, lavender, very subtle, a bit rustic with a hint of oak, organic wheat and wet hay, curd that became ‘creamier’ as it opened
- Palate – Initially a bit strong with a spicy tingle and slight raw quality, quite malty, then becomes quite smooth with a citrus twist and subtle saltiness, like the hint of a salty crust on a fresh french baguette, a drizzle of honey, becoming increasingly sweet – almost sugar cane sweet – chased by black peppercorns
- Finish – Initially a bit of a raw burn then as it settles in, becomes quite sweet, fresh and clean… however as we continued to sip, the finish became increasingly bitter with a burnt caramel quality
- Water – A must for this whisky! “Now I like it!” It brings out meadow flowers, a sunshine summer quality on the nose with a hint of eucalyptus, becomes quite smooth on the palate with a lovely spice finish
We found this whisky a bit deceptive… even without water, it begins to grow on you and you can’t help but find yourself continuing to sip… even the rustic quality becomes like a worn familiar friend.
Then when water is added it changes from “wallflower to belle of the ball!” taking on both a silky smoothness, more substance in a delicious package. Clearly one where a bit of water to open up transforms!
What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?
- Character – Elegant and sophisticated. The spirit is deceptively light concealing a depth of flavour rarely found.
- Colour – Straw yellow.
- Nose – Instantly floral. Delicate but powerful. Honeysuckle, yellow gorse and heather rise from the glass coaxed by a splash of spring water. As you inhale, the ancient grain surrenders malt sweetness fused with cooked apple and ripe rear, all this swathed in rich oak offering vanilla, heather honey and lemon zest. Displaying the skill of slow distillation and craftsmanship that created it this single malt is harmonious in its complexity.
- Palate – The texture is that of honey, smooth and suave. Vanilla, brown sugar and zesty citrus stand tall as gentle waves of soft fruit apricot and peach are driven on by a Hebridean breeze filled with the scents of summer. Like a receding wave washes the sand clean your palate is refreshed by a spirit that is gentle and powerful, young and yet knowing.
- Finish – Sweet soft and floral, continually pulling you in to release its secrets, to touch this single malt to your lips is a beguiling experience long remembered. A superior spirit skilfully created that has age beyond its years.
- Mood – Enigmatic. Open yet secretive.
Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evenings also featured:
- No Peat – The Classic Laddie 50%
- No Peat – The Laddie Eight 50%
- Heavy Peat – Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 8 years 57.8%
- Heavy Peat – Port Charlotte 12 Oileanach Furachail 58.7%
- Insanely Heavy Peat – Octomore 07.2 5 years 208 PPM 58.5%
- Insanely Heavy Peat – Octomore 07.1 5 years 208 PPM 59.5%
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