There is an uprising within the whisky industry, a new world, a whole new way of looking at whisky is upon us.. Or so some want to have us believe !
Bruichladdich is a progressive distillery with a whole new look on how whisky should be and is made, words like Provenance and traceability are bounded about within the walls like its normal to do so, even the Terroir word crops up regularly..
Those 3 words on their own are very important if we need it to understand more about the distillery itself but I believe we can discount one straight away, Terroir is not valid to todays review so out it goes.. Let’s instead concentrate on Traceability and Provenance, this is where I get on board with what the team are all about.. Look on the website and there is a whole lot of information on how they want to be perceived “We believe our spirits should have character; an authenticity derived from where they are distilled and the philosophies of those who distil them.”
From conversations with people who work at Bruichladdich it is very evident they are passionate about what they do, to the point if you disagree with them they take offence.. I do think I have indeed upset them with my own views but that is no bad thing because it shows they believe, it shows their passion and most of all it shows they care !! I applaud that, infact I fully embrace that from them, it only goes further towards giving me a better understanding of where they are coming from..
The big difference with Bruichladdich is that they allow you to keep your beliefs but are still willing to gently help you understand their way of thinking..
“The place of origin or earliest known history of something”
“The beginning of something’s existence; something’s origin.”
“A record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality”
This is the very essence of Bruichladdich and it is easy to see they take pride in what they produce, and there is a saying of ” the proof is in the pudding” although we might want to change the pudding to whisky in this case ( although i do like pudding )
Traceability is the capability to trace something. In some cases, it is interpreted as the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification.
Again this is becoming more and more the normal within the distillery walls and again this is to be commended..
With all this though does it help to enjoy the whisky more ?
Personally I believe it gives the team a greater pride to say the product is all about Scotland and to a degree almost all about Islay, that is after all where we find the distillery and Islay is a world to itself, a unique environment that captures the soul and refuses to release it when you leave, I have heard it said that you never actually leave Islay as a part of you becomes a part of the landscape..
So does understanding the environment, the people, the way it is made actually give you more enjoyment of the whisky ? the simple answer is No but its not as simple as that is it.. Understanding the background, the origin to something, the process of how it became, the way it is defined will give you an understanding to what you are drinking and will for some give a more complete event, so ask again did it make you enjoy the whisky any more and the answer then becomes yes it probably did but is this subconscious or did you really enjoy it more than you might have done if you did not know anything about it..
If the knowledge is needed to enjoy whisky then blind tasting is redundant, if it adds to the enjoyment then Bruichladdich will give you a mind blowing, orgasmic experiance..
This whole subject is a minefield and maybe one day we will all have a better understanding to what makes the process work, what makes us enjoy whisky better and who is wrong or right although they do say no one is ever wrong when it comes to whisky !!
2006 – 2016 Bruichladdich Single Cask
Age.. 10 years
Cask.. 8 years in re fill bourbon, vatted into Sherry ( Oloroso and Px ) before returning to Bourbon casks.
This was part of a live tasting with Bruichladdich under the Micro Provenance series.. MP4..
Barley.. Scottish mainland ( I presume this is the origin and not the strain )
Nose.. This is a bottle of liquid chocolate, it is deliciously rich and decadent. Dried fruit aromas mingle with candied orange, plum, toffee apples and soft spices.
Palate.. Chocolate orange and sticky toffee pudding all day long, rich vanilla and old leather, tobacco and Turkish delight with a hint of cherries, toffee and butterscotch.
Finish.. Dark and moody
Thoughts.. This is so dark, moody and seductive that it really does leave you wanting more.. The way it has evolved over time is incredible, it is far more complex now than I remember, I am not really sure I can explain how good this whisky is with words other than if you ever get the chance to try something like this then do not hesitate.
So we have a little more info than normal and that’s great stuff, and for those who like me do enjoy seeing the cask info, the origins, the geeky stuff this is heaven but the big question is .. Did i enjoy it more because i knew all this ?
I don’t think I did but can I really be sure ? No.. All I know is that I believe this is superb whisky that without the extra information would have been just a bloody good as it was with the info.. But Bruichladdich I hope you never stop what you are doing and that one day we can sit down within the walls of the distillery and drink some great whisky and chat some more..
You just cant win.. Shrugs shoulders, takes another sip, smiles…