As always there is very little to tell about this Black Art 08.1 from Bruichladdich, except that it is a mysterious unpeated whisky, with the youngest component distilled in 1994 and matured for 26 years.
The types of casks used are undisclosed so only head distiller Adam Hannett knows what it is the mix exactly. It seems to be a lighter Black Art than before though, with supposedly less emphasis on (fortified) wine casks this time. It is “just” 45.1% ABV but cask strength nonetheless, which probably means part of the vatting is a lot older than 26 years.
Bruichladdich ‘Black Art 08.1’ 26 yo 1994 (45,1%, OB 2020, 12000 btl.)
Nose: very complex. It starts with a citrusy sharpness, lemon juice and orange zest, followed by some chalky notes and dried aromatic herbs. Aniseed and thyme. Leathery touches. Some grapefruit and unripe peach in the background, as well as sweeter fruits like yellow apple and pineapple. A mineral side keeps growing stronger, with wet stones and something metallic. Intruiging.
Mouth: a little austere again but always fresh. Minerals, some oily notes, walnuts and herbal / grassy touches. Later it moves towards coconut shavings, baked apple and a little vanilla, mixed with tobacco leaves, heather and marmelade. Citrus zest. Toasted oak. Mild ginger and nutmeg. The nice bittersweet theme goes on until the very end.
Finish: not too long and rather drying, with more citrus zest, leather and oak spice.
There’s certainly less red wine / sweet sherry influence this time, it’s more austere and coastal with an underlying bitterness. Maybe not as rich as I hoped, but quite intruiging and very hard to pin down, so mission accomplished, I’d say. Available from the Laddie Shop, or TyndrumWhisky for instance, as well as your usual local outlet of course.