Bought: World of Whisky (Heathrow Airport), 10th September 2016
83/100 – Whisky Bible 2018
83.59/100 – Whiskybase (average from 29 member votes)
86/100 – Malt Box (his YouTube review below)
This new 8-year-old Bruichladdich first appeared as a Travel Retail Exclusive in March 2016 for £44.99. It then went up to £46.49 and by September it was £48.99. Ah yes, the slow creep of the greedy world of whisky. Nevertheless I was so excited to find a new ‘age statement’ from Bruichladdich I decided that nearly £50 was worth it. Hard to believe it’s only 3 years since I paid £20 for a bottle of the dearly departed Laddie 10. But obviously my salary has gone up by 150% since 2013 so I’m able to keep buying whisky! 🙂
83.6/100 on Whiskybase is a very good score and compares well against the Classic Laddie Scotch Barley NAS (non-age statement) with 82.3/100. Comments for the Laddie 8 include “satisfying and with its own distinguishable signature” and “a light, easy-sipping dram at first glance, but it pays off to take your time and dig deeper.” A Whiskybase member scoring the Laddie 8 a representative 84/100 leaves these tasting notes:
Nose: Very fresh and light with lemon curd, lime and kiwi at centre stage. Also grass, honey and vanilla with sweet breakfast cereals.
Taste: Fairly spicy at first, but those quickly make way for fruitier flavours of lemon, apple and pear. Some nuttiness in the background as well.
Finish: Subtle aniseed, lemon rasp and almonds. Drying and pretty long.
Here’s Andy of Malt Box with his review on You Tube (April 2016):
Bought: Auriol Wines, 8th August 2016
78.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
89/100 – Whisky Bitch (video review below)
83.41/100 – Whiskybase (average from 19 member votes)
This 20cl version of the Classic Laddie was an impulse buy because you can’t go wrong with Bruichladdich – or can you? Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible isn’t impressed and 78.5/100 classifying this dram as “average and usually pleasant though sometimes flawed”. 83.41/100 on Whiskybase might seem good but those members that leave comments have scores ranging from 70/100 to 85/100 so it seems it’s not to everyone’s taste. At least the Whisky Bitch likes it so it has one fan and counting.
Jim Murray says “despite some obviously complex and promising moves, the usual infiltration of sub-standard casks has undone the good of the local barley.” And summarises with “if you manage to tune out the off-notes, some sublime moments can still be had.”
There are no comments in English on Whiskybase but a member from the Czech Republic says (translated) “very tough and sharp” and “when compared with Port Charlotte this is a flop”. The 70cl version scores slightly less than the 20cl with 82.71/100 and again none of the comments are in English. Perhaps this bottling was mostly for the mainland Europe market. Nevertheless, 83.4/100 is a very good mark so clearly a lot of silent Whiskybase voters like it.
Here’s the Whisky Bitch with her review on You Tube (Dec 2014):
Bought: Christmas Gift, 25th December 2015
94.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
84.84/100 – Whiskybase (average from 221 member votes)
I’ve been interested in the Port Charlotte ‘Heavily Peated’ by Bruichladdich for quite some time so it was nice to get it as a Christmas present. Although the original Port Charlotte distillery closed in 1929 the buildings still exist and have been used by Bruichladdich as warehousing. In 2007 Bruichladdich announced they were bringing the Port Charlotte distillery back to life and shipped over the stills from the closed lowlands Inverleven distillery. We could see new releases from the Port Charlotte stills very soon. What might cause a bit of confusion in the future is that Bruichladdich have used ‘Port Charlotte’ as a brand name for some of their single malt such as this ‘Heavily Peated’. The new distillery will also be called ‘Port Charlotte’. Perhaps they’ll use a special brand name for the new Port Charlotte whisky to avoid confusion.
Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible absolutely loves this whisky. 94.5/100 classifies it as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”. He says about the taste “a youthful livewire delivery with a pretty surprising degree of maple syrup and treacle latching onto the phenols: the effect and balance is wonderful; pay attention and you’ll spot some juicy fruit notes popping up here and there, too” and summarises with “rearrange the following two words: “giant” and “gentle”.”
Nearly 85/100 on Whiskybase is an excellent mark. It’s clearly a lovely dram. Here’s Jo of ‘Whisky Wednesday’ with his review from October 2014:
Bought: Whiskysite, Holland, 23th May 2015
90/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
85.09/100 – Whiskybase (average from 163 member votes)
I decided to get this version of Bruichladdich ‘Octomore’ because of its limited edition status. The two versions of the 6.1 in the Whisky Bible score higher with marks of 91.5/100 and 94/100 but 90/100 still classifies my bottle as ‘brilliant’. The fact that it comes from a cognac cask is a new one to me. Jim Murray the Bible author says of the taste “hard to imagine the smoke playing second fiddle, but it does: the sugars are so intense and the barley so salivating, for a few moments you even forget it is there.” He summarises with “one of the sweetest bottlings from this distillery of all time. Some warming late spice, too.”
Scoring over 85/100 on Whiskybase is an excellent rating although the 6.1 version gets nearly 87/100 and 6.3 is up at a heady 88/100. Nevertheless, comments for the 6.2 include “here’s one expression I hope is around forever as it’s a drinking phenomena”, “again a masterpiece. Heavy peat and sea, mixed with fruits and honey beyond the fire.” and “what’s the deal with the low rating in comparison to other Octomore bottlings? I really don’t see much different. If any I liked this one more than previous bottlings.”
Will it be a good investment? It’s hard to say with the Octomore. With so many versions coming out, even a limited edition is swamped by what’s available. I’m tempted to try it but perhaps at a tasting event, or by getting a 5cl sample rather than cracking open my bottle. At the speed I drink, it would be around for a very long time!
Posted in Bruichladdich
Tagged 167ppm, 58.2%, 6.2, 70cl, Bruichladdich, Holland, Islay, NAS, Octomore, Single Malt, Travel Retail, Whiskysite
Bought – Online Whisky Auction, 22nd December 2013
73/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 5 reviewers)
76/100 – Whisky Notes Review
It’s a shame that the Inverleven distillery bit the dust in 1991 because there are few enough lowland distilleries on the go as it is! But one distillery lost is another distillery’s gain. The stills that produced my 1979 bottle have been shipped over from Inverleven to Islay, to be part of the rebuild of the Port Charlotte distillery. Until recently, Bruichladdich used the old Port Charlotte buildings as warehouse storage but they’ve decided to breath new life into the old distillery and plan to open in 2016.
I’m tempted to keep this miniature until I get a whisky from the new Port Charlotte distillery. Not that I’ll be able to tell that they both come from the same stills but it would be a nice association. I wonder if blending them together means that the outcome is still a single malt?! I know they are different distilleries but, since they’ll be both from the same stills, it could be argued that, technically, it still constitutes a single malt. Maybe not in the eyes of the Scottish Whisky Association but, after several glasses, everything seems possible! 😉
Posted in Inverleven (closed 1991)
Tagged 1979, 40%, 5cl, Bruichladdich, Inverleven, Lowland, Lowlands, NAS, Online Whisky Auction, Port Charlotte, Single Malt
Bought – ASDA, 10th August 2013
90/100 – Whisky Bible 2013
90/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – The Laddie 10 – YouTube
‘The Laddie Ten’ should act as a lesson to distilleries that continue to add colouring to their malts. Proudly boasted on the side of the Laddie bottle (and tin) confirms it has ‘no added colour’ and is ‘non-chill filtered’. Then you look at the colour of it and think “blimey, did they forget to take some of the sherry out of the casks?!” But the depth in colour is all part of the reassurance that you’re getting the real deal. This isn’t white spirit were a chemist from the Dulux paint factory picking out an appropriate ‘whisky’ colour to inject into it. The Laddie’s colour is part of the traditional process that makes the best Scotch whiskies the pride of the nation. Now I step off my soap box and say that I mainly bought this Bruichladdich offering because ASDA reduced it from £36 to £20. So far it’s been the bargain of the year!