So I’ve used the picture above multiple times, and I guess I could have grouped these all together, but… Nah.
We had two Bruichladdichs picked by Maltbarn. If they had picked an Octomore recently we may have had one of those too, and done all the Bruichladdich made.
But we didn’t. Oh well.
Up first we have the non-peated Bruichladdich of the lineup. It was aged in ex-Bourbon and then transferred to red wine casks. This is not a finish. Don’t call it a comeback either, because that’s a song and not anything to do with a whisky.
So how does Bruichladdich 12 2006 Maltbarn taste? It’s very much on-brand with Bruichladdich having a wine maturation. However, this is newer malt. How does it differ? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Cask Type: Bourbon & Red Wine Casks
Number of bottles: 155
Colour: 2.5Y 6/6
Nose: Almond cherry, algae, green banana, vanilla, floral lime, orange Madeleine
Alright, some nice almond/cherry notes, flows into some raw, underripe notes. Given some time we get more citrus, floral, and even nice vanilla on it.
Nothing merges together, but it’s doing that amazing Bruichladdich “kitchen-sink” approach to simple flavours.
Taste: Brown sugar, marzipan, green banana, algae, olive oil, anise
Alright some brown sugar and more intense almond and green banana, raw flavours… No worries, we’ll have some of those vanilla and citrus to balance it out.
Wait… no citrus. Alright, no vanilla or floral… Kinda rough. Water brings out anise though. It tries to tie it together.
Finish: Almond butter, brown butter, salted peanuts, arugula, red berries
Hey, more almond. Holy shit I’m done with nuts after this dram. Sorry Sailors.
We start to get some of the citrus flavour back after some water, but the raw nuts and earth elements are getting strong and stronger.
Conclusion: Almonds. Almonds, everywhere. Constant almond flavours. Earth to double down. More nuttiness.
There’s a promise that the nose does here that the taste misses out on. I really love that balance between the casks there. The taste, while quite almond forward and interesting, didn’t hit that balance. And the finish takes so long to get slightly close to it. This one is, therefore a pass, though I can still note the effort that went in, so I’m scoring it higher.
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 17 2001 Maltbarn was the last of the Maltbarn tasting. This, at one point, was the oldest Port Charlotte out there. We now have older ones, and we have ones around it’s age.
Please note that the more of these older Port Charlottes I have, the more I enjoy. That means this one is going to be compared to some pretty epic competition.
How did this one do? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: Sold out. Quickly
Cask Type: Bourbon Cask
Number of Bottles: 155
Colour: 7.5Y 9/10
Nose: Manure, milk chocolate, sea air, caramelized lemon, Snickerdoodles, bubblegum, pineapple, lemon loaf
Immediate strong flavours. This isn’t a dram that you have to dive into to get. That said, I did because that’s fun.
Chocolate, farmy, brine, and some burnt lemon. Nice sugar notes, goes to bubblegum and caramel notes with water. Some acidity and even some cereal notes. You can pick this apart.
Taste: Smoked chocolate chip cookies, almond cookies, crab, papaya, doughnut, white peach
When I have a dram this complex, I take a moment to hate-love it. Because no one will believe the level of esoteric flavours I’m getting. It’s hard to explain beyond the simple elements how much this works, and I really do hate myself.
Suffice to say, add some liquid smoke to your cookies, visit an Italian bakery, grab some good seafood. That’s this dram. Add water? Get a sweeter peach doughnut. That’s this dram. Don’t believe me? Cool, don’t buy this, more for me, keep having cheap drams fucko.
Finish: Caramelized lemon, lavender chocolate, being in a garden at full bloom, first time enjoying anise, peaches right off the tree
Long finish. Big floral/chocolate notes, and that caramelized/burnt lemon flavour pops up. This whole finish is really amazing. Amazing peach, perfect anise, and strong pure floral notes. It’s the perfect version of those things.
Conclusion: So amazing, won the whole tasting hands down. I could wax about this forever and ever and never get to how tasty it is. It’s probably the best dram I’ve had all year up to this point.
Chocolate, smoke, farminess, citrus, and nuttiness. This plays with so many types of flavours and combines them so well. I’ve had very few drams better, and this comes so close. This is a must-have, if only to see if you agree or disagree with me.
Scotch reviews #1141-2, Islay reviews #303-4, Whisky reviews #1763-4