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Of Scotch And Character

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Quick trip to Scotland, anyone? Seriously, do you want to hear the wind and embrace the land? This is easy – turn the sound on and click here.

Do you want to make your experience even more realistic? Pour yourself a splash of Bruichladdich (may be even while sitting next to the fireplace), and you are there.

You probably figured by now that today we are once again going to talk about Scotch. If last week I was talking about the art of blending, as present by Compass Box, today I want to talk about pure character. Few days ago I tasted some new Scotches coming from Bruichladdich, a distillery located on island of Islay. Islay is one of the main areas in the Scotch production (the others are Highlands, Lowlands and Speyside), famous for their Scotches to be very peaty, smoky both on the nose and the palate.

Bruichladdich distillery is about 130 years old, definitely not the oldest, but considering the number of new products and limited releases I would dare to say, one of the most innovative. The proof is in the pudding, right? Err, in the Scotch in our case. So in the tasting, I had 4 different Bruichladdich Scotches which I never tasted before.


Bruichladdich Rocks was the lightest from the group – nice touch of smoke on the nose, very floral and mellow on the palate, as light and refreshing as Scotch can be (distillery tasting notes can be found here). .

Bruchladdich The Laddie Ten, as the name says, is 10 years old single malt – touch of iodine on the nose (not anywhere as medicinal as Talisker, with only a whiff of iodine), excellent, soft, round, with good viscosity, very gentle for what it is (distillery tasting notes can be found here).

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2006 – yes, it is a very young Scotch, which I’m not even sure has a specific definition in the world of Scotch. Not only this is single malt, but all the barley used in production of this scotch comes from one specific farm (a single farm single malt?). Really unusual (especially for Islay), pure caramel on the nose, round and delicious (while I really enjoyed it, it felt more like “ladies scotch”). Again, here are the distillery tasting notes.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte – The Peat Project – ahh, pure classic. This was classic Islay. Perfectly peaty and perfectly restrained at the same time. Bacony smoke on the nose, round, smooth, elegantly peaty on the palate and delicately weaved. While you can read the distillery notes here, I can’t help it but to cite a line from the description: “bottled using Islay spring water from the Octomore field of farmer James Brown” – does it get any better than that?

Our tour of Islay is over, folks. Go grab a bottle of Bruichladdich and enjoy the spirit and the character of the land. Cheers!


  1. PSsquared
    January 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I know less about Scotch than I do about wine, but I have actually visited the Scotch Whiskey Experience in Edinburgh. And it was awesome. Many of my ancestors come from Scotland, so maybe I need to learn to enjoy Scotch more than I do… 🙂

    • talkavino
      January 19, 2013 at 12:38 am

      Scotch is an acquired taste – all it takes is to find the first one you would like. For me it was Cardhu from Speyside – and from there I went : ) Just keep trying!

  2. January 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Excellent post and great information/reviews, Anatoli! Thank you.
    I love peaty Scotch (as I mentioned already, I love Talisker): based on your description of the four varieties of Bruichladdich, I would think I should go for the Port Charlotte, would you agree?
    Thanks again!

    • talkavino
      January 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm

      Definitely Port Charlotte. But if you want to embrace smoke at its fullest, try Bruichladdich Octomore – that is a symphony of peat.

  3. January 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    You must have ESP! I was just introduced to Bruichladdich last week by a friend. I was very impressed. Thank you for writing about some of their various products.

    • talkavino
      January 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Glad you liked the Bruichladdich – they really have a lot of interesting scotches to offer.

  4. January 22, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Great article, thank you!

    • talkavino
      January 22, 2013 at 6:32 am

      Thank you for stopping by and for the comment! Glad you liked it!

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