Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

The Whisky Odyssey Fèis Ìle 2024 Special
Bruichladdich Day: the day of the Ileach

The Bruichladdich Distillery is said to be the distillery that is closest to the heart of the Ileach, the native inhabitants of Islay. During Fèis Ìle this used to be illustrated with great vigour, judging by the music, the food and an abundancy of drinks. We should give an honourable mention to The Botanist. 

Myself, I am not the biggest fan of gin, but that stuff from the Bruichladdich still is truly amazing. Talking about those stills, they produce a lot more than ‘regular’ Bruichladdich. In varying styles of peating one can get a Port Charlotte, Lochindaal or Octomore. For our Fèis Ìle Special we stick to the regular stuff. Well, regular, we throw in a dreaded wine matured expression too…

Bruichladdich 2008, 15 years old, bottled at 50 % abv by the Stirk Brothers

Makeup: A single cask with the number 1454 was filled in 2008. It resulted in 131 bottles after 15 years. No information on the cask, but by the looks of it I am guessing it was a bourbon cask.

General impressions: Beautifully fresh, with sea air, lemons and sandy beaches. Now this, to me, is a classic Bruichladdich. There is a modest waxy note rising from the glass. I really like it. At first sip, this is a continuation of the scents we got, but the liquid comes off surprisingly smoky, with lots of bitter influence from the wood impact. But all in all this Bruichladdich is very clean and straightforward. I adore the waxy character on the finish, that obviously draws comparison with Clynelish. With water, hints of white grapes and even more maritime smells. Lovely.

Conclusion: Excellent discovery of a beautiful single cask Bruichladdich. Still available at several retailers. I almost feel the need to apologize for the few lines I managed to produce about this whisky, but it is just straightforward brilliance.

Score: 90 points

Bruichladdich 13 years old, bottled at 54 % abv by Spiritfilled

Makeup: A bottling in the Mystical Beast series by this bottler. By the looks of it, this Bruichladdich matured fully in a Callejo (Spanish) Wine Barrique, cask number 2239, resulting in 322 bottles.

General impressions: Extremely dominated by deep red fruit, like cherries of which you know on first bite they are actually a little bit sour. The good news is, it is a very clean nosing going on here. It needs some time airing out and coming in its own, to discover there is a Bruichladdich hidden under the wine violence. But the whisky is there. The scents turn a little darker, towards wood and blueberries. For sure a quality cask. The taste is indeed quite sour, mingled with the maritime character of the basic Bruichladdich spirit. 

From that point on the tannins make further enjoyment very difficult. It turns ‘winesky’ and therefore loses my interest. It is just not my preferred style, but honestly, this is certainly not the worst wine influenced whisky I have ever tasted. With water:
interesting hints of cinnamon powder and a much sweeter mouthfeel. Actually, with water the wine is an asset, not a hinderance.

Conclusion: The quality of the product is without question. If wine infused whisky is your preferred tiple, then go look for a bottle.

Score: 85 points
Disclaimer: samples acquired via shares with friends and via sampleshare-king Henri van der Ree.

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