Thanks to /u/Throzen for pouring me a sample of this.
Picking casks isn’t easy. As someone who’s only had to pick from stuff that others have picked that were then picked from other people, I’ve been lucky. That many levels of distillation, much like whisky, means I’m less on the hook.
Which brings us to Bruichladdich Micro-Provenance 2006 Rivesaltes KWM. Someone from Kensington Wine Market went to Bruichladdich, was shown a variety of casks, which were picked by the distillery (seemingly by someone who had some understanding of what taste points the individual from KWM would want), and then picked from them. That cask then went through what I imagine is a Rube Goldberg-esque type of machine to becomes bottles of whisky.
There’s some stress involved in that. Yes, this was made in 2006, well after the days of poor casks from Bruichladdich that were re-racked with better wine casks. So no worries there.
So what was picked? Why a Bruichladdich made with Chalice barley from the Dunlossit Estate on Islay that was aged solely in a Rivesaltes fortified wine cask. Rivesaltes is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée for naturally sweet, fortified wines (vin doux naturel) made in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region of France. Think Muscat, but they are not limited to using Muscat.
At least that’s what the internet told me. It’s lied to me before, so please tell me if the above is incorrect.
As someone who doesn’t normally drink Rivesaltes fortified wine, I have no idea what to expect. But I’m excited about it. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Cask Used: Ex-Rivesaltes fortified wine cask
Cask Number: 3307
Barley used: Chalice barley from Dunlossit Estate on Islay
Total amount of Bottles: 270
Colour: 2.5Y 8/10
Nose: Peach cobbler, bread pudding, caramel ripple ice cream, mint
Interesting. Really well-developed stone fruit, cereal, and caramel notes. Like hyper-developed almost. It’s like it’s staying in the “Scotch standard note” lane but going at 200km/h.
Water brings out the mint. I don’t really have a statement about that.
Taste: Red grapes, mushroom, inarizushi, Juicy Fruit, anise
Ah, more wine notes. Fruity, earthy, and some umami. Completely different than the nose. Goes fruity then earthy then fruity. Some spice tries to tie it together, but that’s even out of place, like the kind of jokes in cartoons of the 40s in cartoons of the 00s.
Now you’re wondering how to say “00s”.
Finish: Mint, plum, basil, waffles, Chinese 5-spice
Spicy finish. Somewhat ties into the spice? I don’t know, this has been odd. There’s way more spice here, and that should have been in other places.
Conclusion: Very disjoint, all over the place, crazy dram. Simply put if you’ve loved past Bruichladdich that tends to jump about, this continues that idea.
Frankly, for me this is a bit too all over the place. It’s like listening to the radio on scan for an hour straight. The nose is complex and well developed, the taste is raw earth and fruit, and the finish decides it wants to amp up the light spice.
I almost want to argue the spice ties it together, but it doesn’t. This falls under that “unique” area of whisky, and if that’s your bag (which sometimes is mine), then it’s good. Otherwise, I’d pass.
Scotch review #1015, Islay review #266, Whisky Network review #1594