Bruichladdich

Designed by Robert Harvey, Bruichladdich Distillery was radically avant-garde in 1881. A state-of-the-art facility that was custom-designed at a time when other distilleries on the island were developing out of cramped farmstead operations.

Using a century of distilling knowledge, the distillery was built around a spacious courtyard, on a slope to allow gravity feeding from mash to spirit house. It was well understood that the minimum intervention of pre-fermented wash the better. The fermentation and distillation are still governed by the human senses – sight, sound, and smell. There are no computers, no technicians in white coats, but over a century of combined experience in the team of artisans and a faith in the equipment their predecessors installed and which still runs today.

One wash still from 1881, recently renovated, may be the oldest in Scotland. Temperamental it may be, but it was designed in a gentler, slower age when distilling was more artisan than science, and the tall, long-necked stills – the antithesis of those prevailing at the time – still produce the soft, elegant, floral whisky for which Bruichladdich is rightly famous.

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BRUICHLADDICH THE CLASSIC LADDIE

This single malt scotch whisky has been crafted by head distiller Adam Hannett from individually selected casks to showcase the classic, floral and elegant Bruichladdich house style. Unpeated, it is the signature bottling and the definitive Bruichladdich. Made from 100% Scottish barley, trickle distilled, then matured for its entire life by the shores of Lochindaal in premium American oak, it is a testament to the quality of used ingredients.

Character
Smooth as pebbles in a pool. It’s clean, fresh, and lively with both the oak and the grain in perfect harmony.

Colour
Sunlight on fields of early summer barley.

Tasting notes

Nose
The bouquet is brilliant. Opening with barley sugar and a hint of mint before leading into the most wonderful notes of freshly cut wild flowers; buttercup, daisy, meadowsweet, myrtle, primrose and cherry blossom. The cleanliness of the spirit is remarkable. As the seconds tick by, more aromas rise from the glass, little zephyrs of spindrift and sea pinks reminding you that this spirit is matured exclusively by the sea. After some four or five minutes and with the addition of a little water, caramelised fruits drift onto the scene; lemon drops and honey, tangerine and tablet,

Palate
The palate entry is so refined and refreshing, the sweet oak and the barley arriving together sending the taste buds into raptures. The fruits from distillation drift in on an atlantic breeze and pop on the tongue like champagne bubbles. A combination of ripe green fruit, brown sugar and sweet malt bring closure. A taste back in time, a realisation that not all single malts are equal and to achieve the absolute optimum, you must use barley that is made in Scotland.

Finish
Unforgettable! Its best enjoyed in good company, you just don’t want the evening to end. It brings warmth to the heart and soul. The clock slows down and the cares of tomorrow disappear into the dawn.

ABV

50%

Volume

700mL

BRUICHLADDICH ISLAY BARLEY 2012

For many years now Bruichladdich sought to showcase the phenomenon of “terroir” in single malt whisky – the belief that soil, climate, micro-climate, geographic orientation, natural influences and local weather systems will influence the quality and flavour profile of the spirit, making it a unique expression of “place”.

Nowhere is this philosophy more important to us than on Islay. The conditions on the island at the edge of the Atlantic bring something extra to the barley and to the expressive, floral single malt whisky. The airborne salt spray that washes the fields and warehouses leaves its mark on cask and liquid.

This 2012 Islay Barley release is distilled from barley grown on eight farms from across our small island. The spirit has been matured in a mix of 75% fresh American oak and 25% refill French oak; in balance yet never dominating the spirit in this terroir-driven whisky that is Islay grown, distilled, matured, and bottled.

Tasting notes

Nose:
Delicate, light, floral notes and creamy vanilla with rich, floral honey rise from the glass. Kiwi, melon, coconut, and ripe pear freshness combine beautifully into a fruity citrus style to provide that zesty, sweet signature of the Islay grain and the slow trickle distillation.

Taste:
The texture and mouthfeel for a young whisky is a testament to the slow careful distillation and the quality of the Islay-grown barley. Refined and complex on the palate, the sleekness carries the fruit, cereal, and oak notes in succession as the flavours develop and deepen on the palate.

Finish:
The finish is a salty sea breeze with lingering hints of the charred oak, sweet salty caramel, and brown sugar. The melon and creamy texture settle on the palate and take you to another place.

ABV

50%

Volume

700mL

PORT CHARLOTTE 10

An “Islay” whisky should live and breathe the fresh salt tang of Islay air, all its life. This is not a spirit distilled on the island and immediately shipped off to the mainland to mature in some undisclosed warehouse. This 10-Year-Old Port Charlotte has been conceived, distilled, matured and bottled on Islay alone. A whisky made by people, not software; a whisky watched over every day of its maturing life by those who made it; a whisky born of a community, of a vision and a burning desire to kick start a single malt whisky revolution.

Tasting notes

Nose
The smoke is calmed by the marine, ozone character, time has brought a balance, a harmony in the combination of oak, smoke, and spirit. While the smoke is always discernible on the nose it is dry, earthy, peat ash in its style and so allows the oak to come forward with waves of golden caramel, fudge, vanilla custard, hints of ginger, nutmeg and clove. There is a citrus fruit, coaxed from the glass with a drop of water, gentle lemon meringue, and clementine. Breathe deeply and the floral aromas of wild thyme, heather, and sea pink bring you to this Atlantic coast.

Palate
On the palate, there is a noticeable delicacy and softness in texture and style. Again, the balance of flavour is superb as the smoke wraps loosely around the sweetness drawn from deep within the oak. Coconut, vanilla custard, lemon honey combines with smoked oysters and sun baked salty sand.

Finish
The finish is sublime, smoky sure, but also the soft sweetness of fudge and malted barley, orange, mango, and banoffee pie hinting of the depth and quality of the oak. The many layers interchange on each sip. As the smoke comes and goes so too the notes of the spirit, ripe apple and apricot, beautifully intertwined with malt and oak sweetness and that typical Port Charlotte style dry smoke.

ABV

50%

Volume

700mL

PORT CHARLOTTE ISLAY BARLEY

Barley, its origins and its provenance is the essence of single malt whisky, a living expression of the land that nurtured it. Many other distillers source it from global markets at the best price – a mere commodity. In 2004, farmer Raymond Stewart grew barley for at Kentraw, just a mile from the distillery. His harvest was then malted and distilled separately – likely the first time ever an Islay single malt had been made exclusively from 100% Islay grown grain. Today, the heavily peated malt for this new dram has been created from harvests brought home from three Islay farms, by Raymond and his farming colleagues Neil McLellan and Raymond Fletcher. The resulting rich, aromatic Port Charlotte wash was trickle distilled in the Victorian stillhouse during 2011.

Tasting notes

Nose
A whirlwind of vibrant aromas burst from the glass, an earthy tarred peat smoke announces this is Port Charlotte. Lemon, peach, and green grapes come from the spirit. Vanilla pods, creamed coconut, and chocolate speak of the American oak maturation. The combinations of aromas intertwine and jostle for attention. Some time to open allows notes of lemon drizzle cake, white chocolate, and peach yogurt to rise wrapped in a velvet blanket of light smoke.

Palate
Hints of salt reinforce the coastal feel. Dry smoke salted caramel and apple sauce. Then lemon drops, boiled sweets, and ground white pepper. The smoke is light on the palate, tar, and charcoal rather than medicinal phenols. Towards the finish and the light gentle spirit has an edge of floral sea breeze, marine and refreshing. The sweetness of the oak and the barley are matched beautifully by the dry peat smoke. Islay grown, the barley seems more distinct and brings through the peach and apple typical of our spirit.

Finish
Tar and brine, peat smoke and salt, coconut and tobacco. Close your eyes and the smoke takes you to an Islay beach with a driftwood bonfire.

Character
The sweet/smoke combination is the defining theme on the palate. A dram for summer nights. Driftwood bonfires, the sand between your toes, and some good company.

ABV

50%

Volume

700mL

OCTOMORE 10.3

Distilled in 2013 from the 2012 harvest, the Octomore 10.3 has been brought home by farmer James Brown. Taking on the challenge of growing Islay Barley, he braces the conditions of the wet and wild west coast to combine an exploration of Islay terroir and stratospheric smoke.

For the first time, the .3 is matured for six aged years but crucially only in ex-American oak. These top-quality Quercus alba casks have gently coaxed this Octomore spirit into life in Warehouse 16, next to the 10.1 edition. Having housed the Scottish and Islay barley in the same conditions, with a lower PPM, solely in American oak from Concerto barley, the flavour difference between them is attributed to the growing conditions of the barley’s respective locale.

Tasting notes

Character
Marine freshness, Islay air, and a deep-rooted level of fruitiness from the distillation characterise this release.

Aroma
Earthy peat smoke, dry and a little medicinal, lemon drops, and thyme come through and then marine, seashell notes along with some vanilla and fudge from the oak.

Taste
Salt on the lips and more honey and lemon on the palate, then the peat sweeps in with the oak and heat from the high strength. Deeper flavours from the spirit, pear, and gooseberry are more defined and richer.

Finish
Sweet on the finish initially with pastry and chocolate but then bitter notes of rubbery smoke and spice towards the end.

ABV

61.3%

Volume

700mL

OCTOMORE 11.1

Exposing the structural brilliance of our pure, unadulterated Octomore super heavily peated spirit, our 11.1 edition is powerful, understated and vibrant. Underpinned with a delicate balance of smoke and sweet vanilla from the ex-American oak casks, this single malt has spent just 5 years in contact with fresh first fill wood. The presence of peat on the palate is huge, and yet is incredibly balanced with clean fruit and floral notes. Distilled in 2014 from the 2013 harvest of 100% Scottish barley then filled into active ex-American oak, this high provenance, high peat single malt is a fitting embodiment of how quality ingredients demand less time to reach maturity.

Tasting notes

Character
Lithe, sleek with intense earthy peat notes, balanced by the presence malt sugar, vanilla and oak. The scents of Islay in a glass – the ozone fragrance of the sea, bog myrtle from the moss and peat smoke in the cold night air and at the heart of it all a warmth that brings harmony to the whole.

Aroma
Initial notes of Lemon, wet peat, pencil shavings, and a salty minerality. Peach yoghurt, cinder toffee, rubbery smokey almost antiseptic notes come from the peat smoke, well balanced with the green fruit and malty notes coming through the spirit. Honey, malt sugar, dried grass, come through with time with a little hint of ginger and wood spice.

Taste
Brown sugar sweetness hits the palate initially. The chilli heat of high strength carries the Octomore DNA across the palate, it is clean, supple in texture and has a complex combination of flavours rushing for attention. Another taste and stone fruit, apricot, that peach yoghurt come to the fore and then the cask influence appears with sweet vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar and soft toffee. The maritime notes, the minerality and citrus all weave the Bruichladdich DNA through the flavour profile bonding the sense of place and identity in this dram.

Finish
Malt, huge Peat notes, earthy and oily, tar and bonfires. Vanilla honey, ginger spice and syrupy sweetness.

ABV

59.4%

Volume

700mL

OCTOMORE 11.3

Comparison of our Octomore 11.1 and 11.3 is our finest lesson in stratospheric smoke and barley terroir. While both editions are malted to a Brobdingnagian 100+PPM reading, the differences in barley character from the respective growing region is ever present.

Our Octomore Islay barley is grown each year by friend and farmer James Brown, on Octomore farm itself. It is harvested, malted and distilled separately, even from our other Islay barley harvests, in order to become a single field, single vintage single malt.

Situated just two miles from the distillery, this specific 2013 harvest was raised in Irene’s field, where only 28 acres were planted that year.

Unlike its Scottish Mainland counterpart, this field is exposed to the climactic conditions and salt spray of wild Atlantic swells. The distinctive flavour and rarity of this barley is something truly special when combined with the clean ex-American whiskey cask maturation.

Tasting notes

Character
Such a distinct expression of Octomore, so much of the flavour comes from the malted barley and the distillation. The distillation techniques allow us to slowly coax the flavours from the grain influenced so much by the location it is grown and truly express a unique flavour based on these fundamentals.

Aroma
Eight floral character on the nose, Summery and bright. The peat smoke is slow to rise initially but comes through with a light touch, clean and dry and very much in the background. Lovely light floral notes and sweet citrus, with honey and vanilla, really holding everything together.

Taste
Texturally this dram has a fantastic presence on the palate, holding the high strength perfectly. A gentle sweetness, honey and fruit syrup arrive, orange blossom, apricot jam and again the floral bouquet all gentle soft notes are holding off the phenols, a testament to the distillation techniques to allow the character of our spirit to come through with being dominated by the high level of phenols.

Finish
Naturally, the phenolic presence comes through on the finish, the floral notes fade and the dry smoke, earthy with dry grass come through. Burnt heather, toffee, and malt sugar all play a part in a complex long finish.

ABV

61.7

Volume

700mL

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