Feis Ile 2021 is coming up and Bruichladdich is celebrating 30th May with a big virtual party which includes a masterclass and live tour, as well as two special releases (+ a limited edition Botanist gin).
The official Feis Ile bottling is this Laddie Origins, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the distillery’s resurrection and tries to bring together different milestones or typologies that characterize their style.
Laddie Origins is a composition of 13 casks spanning 12 vintages. Inside there’s Islay barley, organic Scottish barley and their first biodynamically grown barley, even some of Bruichladdich’s first triple distilled spirit X3. All this was matured in a myriad of cask types: bourbon barrels, a PX sherry butt from Fernando de Castilla, cognac and Sauternes casks, as well as a Chenin Blanc and Pauillac red wine cask…
Bruichladdich Laddie Origins – Feis Ile 2021 (57,5%, OB 2021, 3000 btl.)
Nose: a bit of everything, but in a balanced composition. Where to start? There are bready notes and porridge, red apples, melons, touches of earth and hints of toffee and chocolate. A slightly sour / cidery top note. The red wine is noticeable too. Subtle mint and a wee grassy note. Complex – of course.
Mouth: slightly hot, with black pepper and a hint of ginger before it mingles with brown sugar, wholegrain bread and dark berries. Still a slightly invasive drying touch, as well as cloves, hinting at the wine casks involved. Toasted oak, liquorice and gingerbread. Picking up freshness towards the end, with some citrus zest.
Finish: long, with plenty of oak spice, as well as caramelized sugar and some herbal notes.
I’m not completely sold on this particular expression. It goes in different directions and the wine / wood combination is a little too prominent for my taste, especially on the palate. That said, wine casks are an important element for Bruichladdich so it does capture their unique character pretty well.