Last night I participated in a Twitter tasting #LaddieBelgium, hosted by Bruichladdich for Belgian bloggers. We tried two unpeated and two peated expressions, most of which focused on their terroir experiments. It was an inspiring tasting – I will spread my reviews over a couple of weeks.
Bruichladdich Classic Laddie can be seen as a younger (no age statement) version of the The Laddie 10, which was introduced in 2011 but then phased out again because of low stocks.
Made from 100% Scottish barley, this version was trickle distilled, then matured for its entire life by the shores of Lochindaal in American oak.
It’s great that you can find the complete recipe of a particular bottling on the Bruichladdich website. Kudos for such an excellent solution to the SWA regulations that forbid disclosure of vatting details on the label. For instance, if you enter 15/207 (my bottling code) in the “Laddie recipe” field on this page, it will tell you this batch was a vatting of 71 casks (filled in 2005-2008), from first-fill bourbon casks to Rivesaltes and Sauternes refill casks. Surprisingly other batches include sherry casks and no other wine casks whatsoever. The end result changes but with a thorough selection they still get the same DNA.
Bruichladdich Classic Laddie – Scottish Barley (50%, OB 2015)
Nose: definitely in the same tradition as the Ten. Fairly bright, malty (barley-driven) and sweet thanks to the honeyed notes. Classic indeed, slowly developing a few fruity notes (lemon, apple, melon, maybe a very light tropical touch). A few floral hints too. Fruitier and rounder than the Islay Barley 2007. Quite elegant.
Mouth: oily attack, quite strong, with a lot of sweet barley and oak at first, peppery and then fruity (pear, apple). Minty notes. Gets drier, with gingery touches and some coastal notes in the background. Fairly simple but nice enough.
Finish: elegant, slowly drying, with some nutty notes. Medium long.
A classic dram indeed. The American oak works well alongside the barley core and fruity spirit. Not too complex, but bright and rather summery. Not sure the terroir element of Scottish barley is a noticeable asset, but the experiment is what counts. Around € 50.