3 seriously cool places to stay on the Isle of Arran

2015-12-11

Where to enjoy a good dram in Bangkok? Part 2/2

2015-12-16

#LaddieMP3: A tasting night with Bruichladdich

2015-12-15

bruichc

TERROIR MATTERS

Bruichladdich pride themselves on their ingredients, far beyond the point that their marketing and PR teams would ask them to. Their philosophy is based on traceability and terroir – whether you believe it exists for whisky or not – and not only do they want to track everything they can about their whiskies, but they pass that information on to the people who drink them, a relevant topic in today’s whisky enthusiast climate.

The Microprovenance series is very much Bruichladdich doing their thing – a range of single cask whiskies, listing as much information about them as they can say without running out of space on the label. A variety of casks, finishes, ages, barley types, warehouse locations and many other variables, all combined to produce something unique and show the glorious inconsistency that producers fight against to create their regular expressions. #LaddieMP3, we were to discover, was all about casks.” (Billy’s Booze Blog)

bruicc

A few weeks ago, I had the chance privelege to be invited to take part to #LaddieMP3 (click to see the video), Bruichladdich‘s third live, blind, digital tasting hosted by Head Distiller Adam Hannett and digital marketing manager Lynton Davidson (not to mention the presence of the sweet Mary showing up a bit late!). Adam had personally selected three single casks of whisky which we had the pleasure to sample on the evening.

“We have 200 different types of cask in 17 different warehouses here on Islay. We can trace every detail of these three whiskies’ creation and development; this is Micro Provenance.”

The Micro Provenance tastings are part of an ongoing exploration of individual cask evolution. Released as single cask bottlings they are available only from Bruichladdich’s shop.

greenspot3

llllll

IMG_0028

The first of the three expressions to try was cask #013, A 21 year old whisky that was matured in a bourbon cask and ACEd (Jim McEwan, now retired, has never proved a huge fan of the term “finish” when it comes to whisky, and rather uses ACE instead, for Additional Cask Enhancement) for one year in a Sauternes barrel from the Bordeaux region (Yay \o/ Little Frog is feeling chauvinistic!). Produced from Optic Barley in 1994, matured in warehouse 13 and producing 253 bottles at 50,6% in 2015 (let’s be precise when we’re talking whisky ok?).

Nose: Sweet and fruity with vanilla, peaches, honeycomb, rosemary, nuts, red fruits and christmas spices notes.
 .
Palate: creamy side of the malt here. Still some fruity aromas from the nose : red fruits, oranges, peaches. Banana bread topped with whipped cream (Ok, I shouldn’t have written this last bit, now I fancy pouring myself a dram at 7.00 in the morning… I mean, 8.00am is definitely ok, but 7.00…)
 .
Finish: pleasant fruity, spicy and nutty hints.
 .
The perfect dram to start off a cask-strength whisky tasting – a sweet and fruity nectar, making it quite approachable. Cask #O13 appeared to be the oldest whisky we enjoyed that night.
.
llllll
.
IMG_0027
 .
This second expression, Cask #543, was distilled in 2003, matured for 12 years in a port hogshead and bottled at 60.1% ABV.
 .
Nose: really fruit-forward with red berries such as blackcurrant, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and all sort of WHATEVERberries.
 .
Palate: What an experience! Ginger, cranberry, red apple, raspberry pie, cherries clafoutis.. Incredibly pleasant on the palate despite the high ABV. Getting more sugary notes of Christmas cookies after adding a dash of water.
 .
Finish: smooth and utterly elegant.
 .
This particular expression would make a perfect Christmas dram!
*THIS IS A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE*
 .
llllll
.
IMG_0029
.
Our last expression, cask #229, was matured for 12 years in European oak sherry casks, stored in warehouse 12, and bottled at 62.2% ABV.
 .
Nose: I already fell in love with Bruichladdich long ago but they never fail to “revive the flame of love”. This is just pure delight. A delight of toasted marshmallows, cherries, dark chocolate, cinammon, cardamom, dulce de leche, tobacco and citrus marmelade.
 .
Palate: Definitely a thrilling love story here. Moving from delight to pleasure. Spices, plums, nutmeg, pleasant dryness, raisins.
 .
Finish: long, warming and heartwarming with sweet honey notes
 .
Do I really need to say anything else? Definitely the king of the night!
.

auuuc

bruiccch
No need to mention this tasting session revealed some liquid treasures, but most important here, is the overall approach from Bruichladdich. At a time when some fiercy debates are going on regarding transparency in the whisky industry, I think Bruichladdich provides a perfect answer. Enhancing the whole “whisky tasting” experience by showcasing the importance of all ingredients that make the final product unique: barley type, wood, maturation strategies, people, climate… So once again, a massive thanks to the amazing Bruichladdich team for hosting this third live tasting session and enabling me to take part!
.
.
auuuc
 Tasting in great fluffy company!IMG_0034