Bruichladdich 11 2009 Micro-Provenance Single Cask 2nd Fill Sauternes

More Bruichladdich, more problems.

Wait, no, it’s actually not a problem. I mean, not anymore as my liver has bounced back and my health is better. But enough about me: We’re talking Bruichladdich and the few releases they have out (that’s sarcasm).

The Micro-Provenance series is a group of small release single casks that the company experiments with. Some of them only come from one farm’s barley, others do not list the specific terroir.

Thus we have Bruichaddich 11 2009 Micro-Provenance Single Cask 2nd Fill Sauternes, a cask strength single cask that was aged in 2nd fill ex-Sauternes. I’m less of a Sauternes cask aged whisky fan, which is funny because I like my wine like I like my pop: Sweet as the Dickens.

That said I’ve had some good ex-Sauternes whiskies, because even I have moments of differing taste, so perhaps this will be another? Let’s see, shall we?

Price: £ 250

Region: Islay

Vintage: 2009

Bottled: October 2020

Cask type: 2nd Fill Sauternes

Cask Number: 3460

Number of bottles: 306

Abv: 54.9%

Colour: 5Y 5/8

Nose: Green apple, grass, butter, perfume, peach

Very light at first. Does not nose it’s alcohol content. Also I’m getting less lemon and nutty notes that I associate with ex-Sauternes casks. Instead it’s tart, grassy, and perfume forward. So like a Lowland.

Thus, by the powers of being a floral whisky loving slut, I’m happy, though this really takes awhile to get going, and water is needed to jumpstart it.

Taste: Anise, caramel, peanut, black pepper, prune

Holy damn, where did these spices come from, early European colonial companies? Now we’re getting nuttiness, but it’s beneath a pile of heat. Oddly time brings out some tart/prune notes too. No longer do we have floral aspects, so I’m less enthused and more just medium happy.

No yelling out an 80s catch phrase there. It’s bitter, but not too much, and thank goodness for

Finish: Sulphur, brine, cinnamon, starfruit

Tart, brine, heat and more heat. It’s odd to say the least. I’m not the kind of person who has issues with sulphur, so I’m fine with it, but if you are allergic to stinky egg mineral, I’d skip it. Mostly due to the simple nature of the finish.

On the other hand, it’s quite bitter, and I am not a bitter fan, so I won’t be hunting more of it.

Conclusion: Light nose that needs a long time to open up, but once you do there’s lots of spice. If you prefer more bitter whisky versus sweeter, this is for you. I’m biassed against Sauternes cask standard flavour of weak lemon and peanut, and the finish is quite bitter, so not my jam.

That said, it’s not a bad whisky in the least. It’s interesting enough to stick with it. The unique aspects of it should make it a staple for some whisky nerds. For others? A good sample dram.


Scotch review #1567, Islay review #404, Whisky Network review #2291

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