Bruichladdich DNA 4th edition MCMLXXXV [100th Scotch Review/Request]

Bruichladdich DNA 1

Here it is folks, my 100th review, and it’s a review request from way back.

Couple things before I start: I’d like to point out that 100 reviews ago, I was just a lurker on /r/Scotch[1] who had (and some would argue still has) a minor interest in Whisky. I knew I liked it, yet I was pretty frightened to review it. What if I am wrong? What if I taste something different than someone else? Will Ralfy hunt me down and hurt me? Or at least /u/texacer[2] ?

Then I won an impromptu give away on /r/Scotch[3] for Balvenie 30 year. And was told that I better review it. So I was a little frightened, but stepped up to the plate, reviewing 9 different whiskies before I felt confident enough to review the 30 year. So if you, the person reading this, are thinking “I could never review whisky” and don’t have some debilitating concern that stops you, you’re probably full of it. If I can write 100, you can as well.

/u/cleric04[4] requested, awhile ago, that anyone get their hands on Bruichladdich DNA and review it, stating that no one had it. So I added it to my list. Jump ahead to right before I went on vacation. It had been a long time since I’ve been on vacation, and as this year has gone quite well, I thought I’d splurge a little bit. So (as you can tell from the other pictures on my reviews) I ordered from Masters of Malt. I’ll probably never have the chance again (given Canadian Alcohol laws), so I looked over the requests folder I have, and found one that matched.

Bruichladdich DNA 4th edition MCMLXXXV is a rare bottling of Bruichladdich, so rare that every single website I looked on to find information had so little I thought I was drinking an artifact. It comes from the “very best” of the barrels, selected from their warehouse after 27 years. I believe that versions 1 through 3 were sherry casked, while this one (based on the colour difference) was solely from American Oak. It is limited edition and there are only 1698 bottles worldwide.

And I think it’s a perfect way for me to kick off the 3 digit number reviews. I promise to try and not to get on my high horse until I hit 1000.

Bruichladdich DNA 2

Price: N/A

Region: Islay

Abv: 49.3%

Age: 27 year

Colour: Pears marinated in Champagne Light yellow

Nose: Nectarine, mango, nutmeg, lemon, cumin, flowers, honey, smoke, pie crust, fresh rain, peach schnapps, meringue, almonds, chocolate

To call this complex is an understatement. I’m glad I waited until 100 Scotches in, as otherwise I’d be under prepared to try this. New flavours keep developing, and you need to give this time to open up. It’s like sitting in a pie bakery and trying to tell each pie apart while blindfolded and without tasting them.

And to think this is an Islay? There’s not normal peat anymore, and all the smoke has blended with other intricate, unique flavours to develop into something better.

Taste: Peach, smoke, cumin, dried chili pepper, lime, cocoa, pie crust, lemon, chocolate milk, mushrooms, pear juice, tangerine, soft grass, pineapple, banana

Very sweet and tart, though there’s a little bit of smoke come through now, as well as an entire fruit market (sans fruit merchant, I’d know) coming though. This is crisp and refreshing, like a great Pinot Grigio, however much, much more complex. It becomes earthy as time goes on, which is a relief on the tongue.

Finish: Dark chocolate, sea salt, lime juice, dry pear, grapefruit, light mint, button mushrooms, cardamon coffee, old cheddar, peat, cinnamon, honey

Have you ever been to Montreal? If not, go. It’s like Las Vegas was dropped into a European city. Th reason I bring it up is this reminds me of the Montreal experience. There’s chocolate, good, fresh food, great cheese, and amazing flavours. I swear, thinking about going to Montreal makes me gain 3 pounds.

No Poutine in this though. And if I have to throw a stone at this one, the finish is a little weaker and shorter than I’d like.

Conclusion: What can I say, time, effort, and perseverance make for an amazing whisky. It’s complex to the nth degree, it fires off memories, and it’s balanced. The finish is the only “weak” spot, and it’s still quite enjoyable. Is it the best Scotch I’ve ever had? No, that was an Ardbeg and I’m a peat head. However it is tied for the second best I’ve ever had and I’m proud that I saved it for my 100th review.

91/100

Scotch review #100, Islay review #30, Whisky Network review #129

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #75

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