There is a little island of the coast of Scotland that goes by the name of Islay.. And anyone who has the slightest inclination about whisky knows this island is a Mecca for whisky. The island has some of the most iconic distilleries in the business producing some of the finest whisky money can buy. Last night ( 1-12-16 ) had a group of whisky lovers gathered from far and wide after a rather special invitation from Bruichladdich to join them in a celebration of the second releases of 10 year olds.. The three expressions on offer on the night were The laddie 10 second edition, Port Charlotte 10 and the mighty Octomore 10 year old at the phenomenal 167 ppm.. ( gulp) on the night we looked back at the last 10 years with the distillery updating how some of the staff had progressed and evolved within the distillery…
Adam Hannett – Head Distiller
“In October 2006 I was doing relief shifts mashing because we’d just increased production at the back end of the year, Before that I was in the warehouses, and went back there when I was finished mashing, working with Andy Fisher, who’s still here (now Operations Support).
“These Second Editions of the ten year olds were the first whiskies I would have made. The Octomore 7.4 was the first whisky I released that I had worked a lot on, and the first signature I had on the tin, but it was these Tens that I actually worked with my own hands.
“There were a lot of people here in 2006 that are still here today. Allan Logan, our Production Director, was working at the stills then, so we were on shift together. Then the next year he was made Assistant Manager.”
Geraldine LeGarrec – Global Marketing Manager
In 2006, our marketing manager Geraldine had just moved back from Brazil, and was in ‘transition mode’. She was just about to take up a new job working for Remy Martin and in the meantime was working at the Paris Boat Show.
After moving with her family to Scotland from France following the acquisition of the company by Remy, Geraldine has become very much part of the Bruichladdich family. We enjoy hearing her Franglish around the distillery during her regular visits from our Glasgow office!
Jay Doherty – Warehouseman
Jay moved to Islay in 2005 after meeting his partner Mairi, an Ileach, in Ireland so he’d just arrived in 2006. He worked with tanker driver Michael at Mundells, where he drove as a local courier. He started working for Bruichladdich in 2010 or 2011, he can’t quite remember. He says his favourite part of his job is “just coming to work every day, you have to be enthusiastic otherwise it’s not worth getting out of bed in the morning, and every day is different here”. He says he’ll drink “anything Octomore”.
Lynne McEwan – Global Brand Manager
“Ten years ago I met Dave, now my husband, in the Port Charlotte Hotel after the Bruichladdich Open Day, having just done 20 tours. Four years later we were married in the still house.
“I feel as strongly about Bruichladdich today as I did in 2001. I am so proud that I am now one of the ‘old crew’ and that we have so many young people staying on Islay to be part of this, still incredible, journey.”
There are some amazing people in the industry and these are just a few of the team that make Bruichladdich tick..
So on the night the first dram sampled was the second coming of the..
This is matured in first fill bourbon casks, sherry cask s and French wine casks.. bottled at 50% and NCF and as should be natural colour..
Nose.. Very fruity with luscious apple, pear and peaches reminds me of the old fruit salad sweets I ate as a kid.. after a few minutes oodles of butterscotch, toffee and subtle dried fruits mingle with a faint tobacco (cigar box aroma) and a slight earthy note like the dunnage warehouse scents..
Palate.. Quite malty at first with those fruit notes and the butterscotch marching in like an explosion of flavour.. Cream soda, almonds and wine gums, Bakewell tart along with toffee apple and ginger are abundant.
Thoughts.. Extremly well balanced and full of complexity..
PORT CHARLOTTE 10.
Again this is bottled at 50% and is NCF and natural colour, this was matured in First fill bourbon, Sherry, Tempranillo and French wine casks..
Nose… Smoke infused fruit, smouldering oak, burnt toffee, citrus and honey.. A spice kick soon comes with nutmeg and a peppery note along with cinnamon some caramel and a hint of cinder toffee..
Palate.. Peat smoke, burnt spices, toffee apples, lemon drizzle cake, candied oranges along with pipe tobacco and ginger infused chocolate.
Thoughts. A very intriguing whisky that just draws you in and keeps hold of your imagination while seducing your taste buds..
Last up was the Beast itself..
This beast should come with a health warning.. This has a PPM of 167 and has been matured in Bourbon and Grenache Blanc casks, and as with all Bruichladdich releases this is NCF and natural colour..
Nose.. A lot more restrained than I expected, obviously lots of peat but with a rather sweet kick, Smokey.. it reminded me of being on a trawler out at sea.. The salty sea air, damp rope and nets ( not fishy though !! ) A slight earthy note and jam on fresh baked scones..
Palate.. Unfortunately it lost me here.. my palate is just not up to this kind of intensity and so I just got peat.. but here are some of the notes produced by the more seasoned drinkers..
Steve Prentice.. Octomore palate: it’s all gentlemanly & finary. Coal embers, sweet fruits, rich malt & back to highland, slightly sweet peat.
Jon ( Dvd bloke ) #tenstroika oct p. Thick barley rich oils, lots of smoke, but more creaminess. Touch of herbal throats sweets. Liquorice.
Ewald j Stromer.. With water lovely smoked Assam tea appears with strong caramelized (Demerara sugar) orange zest and ripe pear
Thoughts.. This OCTOMORE certainly is a beast, the nose is more subdued and just entices you in like a lamb to slaughter but once you take a sip if like me your not a seasoned peat lover then boy you will know you tried this.. Don’t get me wrong this is a phenomenal dram and if you like your peated whisky then your hoing to love this one !! After talking with some others about this they all said how great it is so you really must give it a try if you get the chance.. I will re visit to see if I can tame it..
I would like to take the chance to thank Bruichladdich for the invite and generous samples sent in order to take part ( ps. My room still smells of OCTOMORE.. )