So the name Bruichladdich: Just some Gaelic, right? Well… not completely. And talking about the name helps with what we’re reviewing today.
Bruichladdich is short for Brudhach a Chladdaich. And frankly, as someone who isn’t always sober when he orders whisky, I’m quite glad it’s shortened down.
So, two words there: Brudhach and chladdich. Brudhach means either the steepness of a hill or brae, to a precipice. So it’s a cliff. Since Bruichladdich is on a steep bank, we have that.
Chladach means a stony beach. Or rather, a ‘lee shore’, a dangerous coast for sailing ships in a prevailing wind. Which describes Loch Indaal, located near Bruichladdich.
So in the end, this whole thing just is a warning that there’s a cliff and there’s a Lee Shore which you really should watch when you’re sailing near it in a prevailing wind.
You know, that thing that comes up. Eventually the above words were said too quickly in a language that has a different origin root and isn’t well known for being nice to the origin language, we end up with Bruichladdich.
Then you shorten it down, and we have “The Laddie”. Which I guess means “shore”. This line came out when the distillery restarted, being a celebration of restarting the company. There’s no finish, and no peat. Also no colouring or chill filtration.
Side note: Apologies that I missed one of the age stated Laddies here, the 8 year. I honestly just found out about it.
So let’s see how each of these taste, shall we?
Up first, we have the first edition of the Bruichladdich The Laddie 10. This is actually a re-review of this one.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Pineapple, brine, white cake, brown sugar, light smoke
Tropical fruit and cakes. A classic, good flavour. For slave owners. Or rather just something I enjoy that may have been enjoyed by slave owners. I’m not assuming anyone who enjoys this has slaves.
Why did I make that joke? I swear, pineapple cake came out well after slavery was gone in the US. And probably not a thing during Roman times.
Back to the original point: The main things here are some salt, some pineapple, and some cake notes. And if you’ve ever had tropical cakes, you’ll know that works nicely together.
Taste: Grapefruit, simple syrup, grassy, anise
Little more tart and “morning breakfast” than “tropical love” on the taste. Wait, that sounded racist too. God, my white guilt is going nuts today.
More herbal on the taste than I remember it. The acidity works here, though I wish it was that tropical over the grapefruit.
Finish: Earth, oak, peat, lemon
Simple finish, however that’s in comparison to a 10 year old whisky that is punching above it’s weight. Here there’s some peat, though that could be heather, as I forgot to check using my hand.
Some lemon, some earth. Not loving it, though it’s not rough.
Conclusion: A really nice nose, an okay taste, and a simple finish. Was more impressed by it last time I had this. Finish was more interesting last time. I stand by my original comments though, that the nose is the most impressive part, especially for a 10 year old malt.
Nice one to pick up. Especially if you like tropical cake.
Bruichladdich The Laddie 10 (2nd Edition) is up next. This is a limited release of The Laddie 10, as the original was discontinued and then brought back, as Bruichladdich didn’t want to keep making the same thing over and over and feel that batches or editions should be limited.
So this is limited to 18,000 bottles. So limited is a nice term. It’ll eventually run out, is what we’re saying.
Also it’s stronger than the first edition. So let’s see how it compares.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Mango, guava, pear syrup, basil, earth
Tropical. More so than the last one. Less acid, more… of the other part of tropical fruit. I don’t know how to explain that. Like… mango.
Here’s the interesting thing with notes: I don’t know how to explain parts of tropical fruits beyond acidity. But I’m trying to say there’s less tartness of a Pineapple here. More pear notes. Nice earth, though not as developed as the first edition.
Taste: Brine, mushroom, lime pulp, sprity, oak
More earth forward this time. Any fruit that continues is light citrus. Not really sweet, though some nice spritiness on the tongue, and good oak here.
Finish: Orange, smoke, fennel, vanilla
Again, smoke at the end, but not as complex. That said, I prefer this finish. I felt the first edition petered out too quick, and didn’t really jive too well. Here it’s like Tiger Tail ice cream.
Conclusion: I enjoyed this one more, though I’ll give that it’s less complex. The nose is more inviting, though less developed. Taste has more mushroom/umami notes, and I have to say I like that, again, just a little bit more. Reminds me of a well made Manhattan. Oddly with bourbon as the main whiskey.
Then the finish feels more well put together. That said, this won’t blow your mind. The original had a really well put together nose, and a unique combination of notes on the taste. So while I’d probably buy this one because I felt it worked better together, I still think the original was impressive in it’s own right.
Bruichladdich The Laddie 16 is a regular release, aged for 16 years in ex-bourbon casks. The whisky is unpeated.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 6/8
Nose: Pineapple, mint, bay leaf, canned peaches, butter, lime zest
Tropical fruits are more up front, and the herbal notes are stronger as well. Lots of fruit, sweet notes. Wish the butter had been quite stronger.
Granted I always want butter. Somehow I view butter as a great thing. This is nice, however it’s herbal and tropical fruit. I needed a little bit more.
Taste: Peach juice, mint, salt, brown sugar, moss/green tea, apple
Sweet, more herbal notes, and slightly acidic. It’s interesting, has a nice mouth feel overall.
Almost has the mojito taste. Well, the silly cocktail mojitos that have flavours that I like and get all white girl wasted on.
Finish: Caramel, salt, earth, mushroom, tarragon, malt, cloves
Spice almost out of no where. It keeps the brine element, however the finish is lots of earth, spice, more earth, and spice.
Like the herbal thought it needed to keep getting stronger.
Conclusion: An odd dram, however more complex, stronger flavours are picking up here. It starts very similar, though stronger, than the other Laddies. Then it goes really sweet, changing it up with herbal. Finally there’s some sweetness but a lot of spice.
Not going to lie: I probably gave this a higher score just because I love cloves and earth flavours on the finish. Overall it’s a nice dram, and definitely a good upgrade from the two 10s above.
Bruichladdich The Laddie 22 is the oldest of the unpeated, non-wine cask line. And I double checked, just in case. Don’t want to miss another one beyond the 8.
Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 8/10
Nose: Pear syrup, mint/old leaves, gingerbread, peach, lemon pie, grapefruit mouse
We now have some different notes on one of the laddie. Where as the others I’ve been at a loss of how to describe them, and I needed to get down to the nitty gritty of balance, this one is easier: Syrup fruit notes, herbal, and the butter notes of before are more developed.
This is lots more baked goods, way more complexity. It’s not as tropical,a nd more stone fruits now.
Taste Shortbread, cinnamon icing, caramel, pear, brine, cereal
Butter! Cooked butter that’s mixed with flour and I can put jam on it!
Ahem… I mean, yes. This is tasty. All is good.
Nice spice here. Not herbal this time, and still quite sweet.
Finish: Lemon pepper, pear tart, oat cookies, spice cake, walnut
Finish is still earthy, though it keeps more of the sweet aspects. There’s some nuttiness as time goes on.
It also continues on the baked butter flavours that I may or may not be biased against due to being a fat ole fatty.
Conclusion: I think this is what the distillery was waiting for on the Laddie range. The young ones are tropical, and the 16 starts showing some difference, though note enough.
This is where it’s headed. These baked goods, the improvement on the fruit, and it becomes something different.
Thus I’d recommend this one.
Scotch reviews #699-702, Islay reviews #153-156, Whisky Network reviews #1160-1163