Thanks to ScotchGuy_TO for sharing this dram.
So you’re at a tasting. And the last whisky comes up. If you haven’t made a mistake then this is the flavour killer. The grand poba of your tongue. It’s your master/mistress and you are just here for the ride.
So when we were told that the final whisky for one such evening was Bladnoch, a Lowland, it was a hard argument. Luckily we’re a nicer bunch, and if someone’s gonna mess up, then that happens. Maybe the bottle will need additional samples poured out to ensure we could all try it later.
Enter Bladnoch 8 2009 Heavily Peated Whisky Broker, a peated Bladnoch… Huh. Didn’t know that was a thing, at all. Seriously left field. Also: Peated Lowland is like Jumbo Shrimp or Benevolent Billionaire: It’s an oxymoron. Until now (shrimp can be bred larger, don’t hold your breath on the other).
Not only that but the most astute/literate among you will notice it says “HEAVILY PEATED” and 50ppm, which I’m told is a lot of ppms (I’m terrible at science).
Joking aside, that’s not a low amount of peat. We’re talking Laphroaig/Ardbeg (supposed) levels. Sure it’s not Octomore but seriously that’s like saying the fastest kid in your class sucks because he doesn’t have a gold medal (even though he’s 7).
So that’s a long way of saying this: We don’t know what we’re walking into. It’s a Lowland (known for being floral and fruity/mineral/light and happy) that’s been peated and released young (known for kicking your mom and stealing your dad).
So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: € 20 for a 200ml bottle.
Cask type: 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel
Barrel number 7
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Birthday cake, lemon, strawberry milk, grass after cutting
Immediate reminder of the one time I walked into Momofuku Dairy Bar. If you haven’t, it’s a lot of fake vanilla. Birthday cake, if you will. Hey, it’s almost like I wrote that because it’s a general way to explain things!
Oh, yeah, buckle up, this thing is insane. Citrus, creamy, vanilla, and grassy. Peat has somehow amped up the Lowland parts, like finding out tarantulas keep tiny frogs as pets. It’s scary yet awesome.
Taste: Chocolate milk, peat, anise, plum, black licorice, gardening
Now we have the peat. Immediate creamy, chocolate, and smokey. Any idea that this is simple immediately is dashed by strong anise notes, plum, and a massive amount of earth. I know, I know, “dur, did you taste the dirt gardening”, why yes I did, I was a child. It happens. Also when you breathe in when you’re covered in dirt from 4 hours of pulling up potatoes, you’re gonna taste it.
And if you don’t, stay inside, you may have lost your sense of taste.
Finish: Floral, rockets candy, cereal bar, butter cream icing
Super sugar, strong notes that taste like fake vanilla and buttery.
Conclusion: If Christina Tosi made a whisky, this would be it. She’s the chef who was put in charge of Milk Bar and explored the idea of cheap desserts and what makes them tasty.
It’s cereal, it’s fake vanilla, it’s strong, and it’s not asking for forgiveness. There’s pounds of dirt and flowers. Then some sugar on it. It’s the month of October all over, starting with bringing in the last of the crops and ending with a metric ton of sugar. Also someone may have dressed up. It happens, we were drinking.
I don’t have to say this, but this is a must drink, if only to see what happens when real unicorns come about (other than rhinos). Other Lowlands should be peated. I want to see them do it. Fuck it, find the old Linlithgow distillery equipment and peat it too. Let’s do this.
Scotch review #1376, Lowland review #54, Whisky Network review #2052