Our host decided to pay tribute to whisky veteran Jim McEwan with an interesting line-up bottled by “That Boutique-y Whisky Company.” And what could be more quintessential than a whisky from Bruichladdich?
We sampled blind before the reveal…
Bruichladdich 13 year (May 2018) Batch 11, 47.6% (TBWC) Bottle 199 of 478
- Nose – A peculiar sour, metallic copper, mineral, sharp, rubbing alcohol, quite odd…. as we gave it more time, started to find liquorice, salt, light hint of bitter orange peal, wondered if there was a bit of tobacco leaf? A bit of spice then shifted back to an eraser or rubber.
- Palate – First reaction was “water from a copper pot”, quite oily, bitter cloves, wood char, different and changing
- Finish – Limited
One remarked it was initially like a “chemist gone mad!” Overall it was quite distinctive and different. Most of us struggled with this one. We couldn’t put our finger on what it reminded us of and were frankly “flummoxed.”
So we added water and gave it some more time…
- Nose – Much better… while the mineral element remained, it shifted more into a nice sea salt with some sweetness too
- Palate – Was that a light fruitiness now emerging?
- Finish – Still limited
One of the best quotes is this whisky was like “Art Cinema!” A bit difficult yet worth exploring.
That is exactly what is wonderful about the world of whisky – with such a range to click with practically every palate preference. And sometimes it is good to have a more challenging whisky – something a bit weird just to shake things up and make it interesting.
The wonderful Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay was founded back in 1881, and for a long while they happily produced tasty whiskies for the enjoyment of all. In the latter half of the 1900s, the distillery was closed and reopened a number of times, though the doors are firmly open these days, with some phenomenal and inventive whiskies flying out of them (well, not actually flying – they’re probably transported on a truck of some description).
They’ve produced a number of stunning expressions, and often they’ll let you in on the thought that goes into the direction they wanted to follow with the whisky. This has resulted in some intriguing ranges with all sorts of weird and wonderful names – many of which are referenced on the label of our Bruichladdich bottling.
- Nose: Caramelised dates, polished oak, a hint of oatcake and white wine.
- Palate: Continued wine-like fruitiness, followed by a crack of black pepper.
- Finish: Mineral dryness and strawberry laces.
What else did we sample in our tribute to Jim McEwan?
- Mackmyra 3 year, Batch 1, 47.2% (TBWC) 68 of 220
- Bowmore 27 year, Batch 5, 47.6% (TBWC) 94 of 285
- Octomore 6 year, Batch 1, 50.4% (TBWC) 608 of 796
- 15 year “Royal Wedding H.R.H. Prince Charles” (1965/1980) 52%
- 25 year (1993/2018) Hogshead Cask #1640 46.9% (LMdW Artist #8)
- The Classic Laddie 50%
- The Laddie Eight 50%
- The Organic Scottish Barley 50%
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