Bruichladdich can make it hard to be a whisky reviewer. Especially one with video game mentalities in our day and age.
If you don’t have that feeling, then congratulations. You have a sensible way of looking at objectives, with an understanding that there are some that you won’t achieve. Those of us who otherwise grew up wondering if Mario can, in fact, go everywhere, get every coin, and if the unapologetic programmers don’t seem to take notice, your own brain makes up goals/rewards of it’s own.
And then you move from video games to whisky, and along comes the Dark Souls of Bruichladdich. Not saying they have dark souls, more so I’m comparing the difficulty of the game to trying to review all the multitudes of different offerings of Bruichladdich.
That brings us to Bruichladdich Bourbon Cask 16. So given the different casks, with different finishes, with tons of different levels of peat, vattings, and ages, why would one pick a slightly older version that only had been aged in ex-bourbon?
Well because…. I have to see if getting all the coins gets me some reward? Because I like ex-bourbon Scotches? Because it’s not always about some new, novel way, but instead about those times when something turned out right?
So that’s why. And I’m interested. Let’s see how it tastes then, after my now-consistent dinner of Chacuterie on vacation.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Strawberry, grass, brine, damp spruce, mint
This is why I enjoy ex-bourbon casks. Given enough time, they develop into interesting, not brash flavours.
In this case, the strawberry and grassy/mossy flavours are quite nice. Given time, there’s some mint that springs up.
That was a pun. I’m smart.
Taste: Molasses, cloves, cedar, brine, lime rind
If I was tasting this blind, trusting someone to order any alcohol, my initial sense would be it’s rum.
And that’s from someone who tastes whisky all the time. I must be full of shit.
Anyway, given some more time, there’s some spice and brine that comes out. Really interesting mix of flavours that compliment one another.
Finish: Molasses, cashew, cinnamon, orange zest, gingered smoke
Big spice and autumn flavour storm. Good amount of acidity, and that strong, thick flavour of molasses hits the back of my….
Wait, that was my erotica training kicking in. Gotta write a whisky review. Nice long, integrated finish.
Conclusion: There’s nothing about this whisky to say it blows the mind. On the contrary, I’d say this is proof that a standard, no fuss whisky can be made, not blow you away, and still be quite good.
This has some unique flavours. A good overall profile. No bad flavours, which is an oddity. And tastes and smells like it was pulled at the right time. I’d recommend this to any whisky drinker out there, and even most rum drinkers. Quite well done.
Now where’s my special achievement?
Scotch review #482, Islay review #102, Whisky Network review #785
1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #301