Bruichladdich continues its barley explorations and has just released three new barley-driven whiskies:
- Bruichladdich Organic 2010 from barley raised at Mid Coul Farms, matured in ex-bourbon casks, accredited with organic certification
- Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010 is using this rare low-yield barley strain, grown in four farms on Orkney. It is aged entirely in ex-bourbon American oak casks.
- Islay Barley 2011 is matured in 75% ex-bourbon casks and 25% ex-wine casks (Spanish oak).
By the way, Bruichladdich planted 60 different barley varietals around the distillery, to witness which ones grow best on Islay. Gotta love this kind of scientific approach.
Bruichladdich The Organic 2010
(50%, OB 2019)
Nose: fresh but fairly neutral, with a floral side. Buttery malt with bready notes, as well as some grassy notes, pears and lemons. Grainy biscuits. Light hints of wet limestone and earth in the distance.
Mouth: the fruitiness comes out more, with some vaguely tropical notes of pineapple and banana. Creamy texture. Then moving towards grapefruit and lemon balm. Some waxy notes. Mint and light herbal touches. Even a salty touch.
Finish: quite long, still a bit salty, with more mineral notes, grassy oak and grapefruit.
Great start, the combination of fruits with mineral and coastal notes works well. Great depth and complexity is rather high already. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for instance.
Bruichladdich Bere Barley 8 yo 2010 (50%, OB 2019)
Nose: fresh and quite gentle in comparison to the Islay Barley, with cereals, sourdough and a marked waxy character up front. Loads of freshly pressed apple juice, with light grassy notes, pine wood and lemon syrup in the background. Gooseberries. Soft mint and vanilla. A hint of tobacco too.
Mouth: nicely thick and creamy but also surprisingly youngish now, showing hints of pear drops and bubblegum. Then some mineral notes, lemon syrup and floral notes. Hints of honey and sweetness from the oak.
Finish: medium long, still quite sweet and fruity, with fresh oak spice.
A well made, fun Laddie. I love the nose of this Bere Barley, but it looses some points on the palate, showing too much youth in my opinion. Other reviewers love it, but I’m not getting the magic. Available from Master of Malt.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 7 yo 2011 (50%, OB 2018)
Nose: more old-style, with more ‘bite’. Sharper notes and more coastal tang. Crisp apple, lemon and a hint of green melon. Aniseed and spiced bread. Some greasy, chalky, slightly industrial notes, even a farmy edge, I love that.
Mouth: oily, citrusy and coastal, though feeling a little green. Plenty of apples, with growing grapefruit and a hint of unripe pineapple. Salty notes, liquorice, tobacco and firm oak spices (pepper, ginger). The green, punchy side grows stronger after a while.
Finish: quite long, zesty, with caraway seed and pepper.
Better than the Islay Barley 2007 in my opinion. A very characterful nose and a muscular palate. Less elegant than the Bere Barley perhaps but overall a more entertaining whisky. At this price, a no-brainer. Available from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange.