Sunday, March 25, 2012

Drinking, Again: 21 year old alchemy from Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich 1989 (02)

Bruichladdich 1989 "Black Art" 21.

An Islay single malt whisky (that's 'Scotch,' here in the U.S), un-peated, and matured —in a wonderful, yet not uncommon cross-seas pollination— in Buffalo Trace bourbon casks. Bottled at 21 years old, at an undiluted 'cask strength' of 49.7% alcohol-by-volume (99.4 proof).

Tasted 14 March 2012, at a portfolio show for Winebow, an importer and wine (and spirits) distributor, in Washington, D.C.

This venerable Bruichladdich was the color of sherry, tasting of toffee, burnt sugar, dark berries, and an abundance of sea-weedy iodine. (Maybe oloroso sherry, or is that a visual cue?) And, even as this was at cask strength, it showed little of an expected alcoholic burn. I told an aquaintance afterward: "a life-changing dram." Estimated retail value: $200 +.

"Please, sir, I want some more."

Beer reviews


  • Drinking , Again: An occasional series of reviews of beer (and wine and spirits). No scores; only descriptions. Graphic created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.
  • Pronounce Bruichladdich somewhat like: brook LADdy
  • Buffalo Trace is a bourbon distillery in Kentucky. Photos from a tour: here.
  • Thank you to David Ferguson —Bruichladdich's Business Development Manager in the U.S.— who did indeed give a wee bit more of a taste.

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