Bruichladdich Distillery Bottling Tasting @ Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
On 23 May, we had an opportunity for an interesting Bruichladdich tasting at Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall. This tasting explored the different facets of Bruichladdich showcasing how age, level of peatiness (phenol parts per million (ppm)) and the whisky makers themselves can affect the flavour. Simplistically, phenol is a chemical that is produced when peat is burned and during the drying process, the malted barley soaks in the phenol which flavours the grain.
<<The Laddie Eight 8YO OB vs Bruichladdich 1991 26YO (Blackadder Bottling)>>
A comparison between a young OB and a pre-mothballed bottling. The distillery was mothballed from 1995 to 2000. Age aside, the 8YO was generally sweet and citrusy while the older style of Bruichladdich held that same sweetness to a smaller extent and generally showed more earthy notes. However, with the calibre of maturation of the Bruichladdich 26YO, the dram displayed complexity, development and elegance. Anyone who enjoys the scent of leather, old books, and musk will enjoy this old laddie!
<<Port Charlotte 10YO vs Port Charlotte 2001 17YO (Maltbarn Bottling)>>
Port Charlotte is a heavily peated Bruichladdich, at 40ppm. This pairs the sweet and citrusy spirit character of Bruichladdich with a satisfying amount of smoke. The Port Charlotte 2001 vintage is significant as this was the first year the distillery re-opened and also the first year of making Port Charlotte. Bruichladdich does not produce peated expressions before pre-mothball days. This compares a standard Port Charlotte to a much older one, seeing how age tames the peat smoke and develops hints of leather, similar in a different extent to the Bruichladdich 1991 26YO.
<<Octomore 09.2 vs Lochindaal 2007 10YO (Blackadder Bottling)>>
Although Lochindaal is not considered Octomore (typically more than 80 ppm), it is at 50ppm. This 5YO Octomore (156ppm) is aged in French Bordeaux red wine casks, while the Lochindaal in an American oak cask. Both liquid (with higher than usual ppm) working in different casks gave each dram a very different but enjoyable experience nonetheless! Exploring how the sweetness balances with the peatiness.