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Bruichladdich launches 18 and 30 year old whisky

Two exciting new age statements from Islay’s Bruichladdich Distillery are here, celebrating its legacy and looking forward to the future. 

Bruichladdich’s story almost came to an end in 1994, when the distillery was mothballed. During the closure, just two members of staff remained on site, acting as guardians for the stocks of whisky that remained in the distillery’s warehouses. Fortunately, the stills were fired back up in 2001, marking the beginning of Bruichladdich’s renaissance. 

Since reopening, Bruichladdich has partnered with a host of Islay farmers, working to raise locally grown barley, and promoting a steadfast belief that terroir matters. All of its whisky is matured on the island and now, it is unveiling two impressive single malts to mark its journey and look at what the future holds. 

Bruichladdich 18 Year Old

First up, a true coming-of-age bottling from Bruichladdich, this is the first 18-year-old single malt to join its portfolio. Since partnering with its first Islay farmer in 2004, the distillery has been able to trace its whisky from field to bottle, including the varietal of barley. Drawn entirely from post-renaissance stock, this expression comprises a marriage of Islay, organic, and Scottish mainland-grown barley. The whisky aged predominantly in bourbon casks, alongside a smaller number of Sauternes and Port casks, vatted and married for nine months before bottling at a robust 50% ABV, without added colour or chill filtration.

Producer’s Tasting Note:

Nose: Beautifully fragrant with ripe peach and honeysuckle, hints of violet and lavender come through on the nose – balanced with vanilla and creamed coconut from the toasted American oak. A medley of tropical fruit comes to the fore, with melon, peaches, apricots, and vibrant citrus, while the influence of the oak brings honey, caramel vanilla custard, and rich crème brûlée.

Palate: Luxurious and viscous, honey, butterscotch, and fresh fruits coat the palate, followed by cereal notes of sweet, syrup-soaked porridge, barley sugar, and toasted oak. Vibrant tropical fruit and the subtle presence of toasted oak with a hint of leather follow, with honeycomb adding to the smooth, sweet character.

Finish: The quintessential character of Bruichladdich single malt comes through on the finish. The 18 Year Old has the classic minerality for which Bruichladdich is renowned, perfectly balanced with oak, stoned fruit, and a delicate floral bouquet.

Bruichladdich 30 Year Old

The second release is a grand old single malt, distilled pre-Bruichladdich renaissance, matured for 30 years, and drawn from the casks that survived while the distillery lay dormant. Matured entirely in bourbon casks, 50% spent its full term in refill hogsheads with the other 50% re-casked from refills into freshies after 20 years. After vatting, the whisky married for a further three months in refill bourbon barrels before it was bottled up without added colour or chill filtration at 43.25 ABV.

Producer’s Tasting Note:

Nose: The gentle influence of oak opens on the nose, bringing notes of coconut, wild gorse flowers, Brazil nuts, and a hint of vanilla. Subtle floral notes of geranium and rose are paired with pear drops and candied lemons, with soft spices and a whisper of cinnamon complementing Bruichladdich’s signature maritime character.

Palate: The delicate sweetness of toasted oak comes to the fore, followed by light fruits, honey, fudge, and a hint of leather. The gentle floral profile opens with time, revealing an immense depth of flavour. The American oak shapes the softness of the flavour, with the delicate salty tang of fresh Islay sea air unmistakable on the palate.

Finish: The spirit’s all-Islay maturation has a significant influence on the finish, with a vibrant tang of sea salt balanced with warm oak, while soft vanilla and sweet coconut lingers.

The new-look Bruichladdich

Fans will also have noticed the shiny new bottle design, and sleek outer packaging of these releases as Bruichladdich takes the opportunity to unveil a new, more sustainable future with a strategy to “use less and use better”. The bottle is made from an average of 60% recycled glass and is lighter in weight than you’ll often find in high-age statement releases, while the sleek outer packaging is a bespoke design that’s a first in the whisky world, made from fully recyclable paper pulp, molded to the shape of the bottle. Very cool indeed. 

The post Bruichladdich launches 18 and 30 year old whisky appeared first on Master of Malt Blog.

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