You may remember Polish bottler Taste of Whisky from their creamy Burnside 1991, part of a series called Whisky Elements. Here’s another element in this series, “The Water”, represented by a heavily sherried Bruichladdich 2005.
Bruichladdich 13 yo 2005 (64,7%, The Taste of Whisky 2020, first-fill sherry hogshead #1002, 292 btl.)
Nose: thick and heavy, with a condensed profile on pipe tobacco, prunes and old books. Worn leather, lots of earthy notes, hints of coffee beans, curry leaves and black treacle. Burnt wood. Very light medicinal touches. Really intense but beautifully integrated.
Mouth: bang. Same overdose of tobacco, walnuts, Mediterranean herbs and deep earthy notes. Dark chocolate pralines with coffee filling. On the other hand there’s a slightly rummy note, some baked bananas, raspberry jam and hints of oak polish. Tarry notes, caraway seeds, crushed peppercorns and cloves. Campari on steroids. Drying, of course, but never quite crossing the line.
Finish: very long and intense. All on herbal notes, dark brewed tea, walnuts and big hints of apple piths.
Quite an extreme whisky, because of the profile and the high ABV. The dry, herbal, tobacco-driven sherry brings us back to the 1970s (think high strength Macallan) but it takes it further in terms of sheer power. A very enjoyable rollercoaster ride. Not for heart patients and those with poor life insurance though.