Feis Ile has started and Bruichladdich got the ball rolling yesterday with their Rock’ndaal event. I already tried the Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011 and today we’re reviewing the latest version. Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2013 edition was distilled from the 2012 harvest, raised across seven island farms.
This whisky was matured in a selection of first fill American oak casks (75%), and wine casks (25%) from Ribera del Duero, Syrah and Pauillac.
Bruichladdich ‘Islay Barley 2013’ 8 yo (50%, OB 2022)
Nose: clean and close to the raw materials. Barley, sourdough bread, hints of moss and grass. Very fresh, with some banana and lemon sweetness (lemon meringue), vanilla pastry and honey in the background. Hints of nectarine. Then light coastal notes and dried wildflowers. Additional mineral notes come out after a drop of water.
Mouth: oily arrival, with a similar freshness and focus on barley. A lot of cereals, porridge and bready notes, with toffee sweetness and vanilla. Mid-palate it gets slightly sharper, showing hints of ginger and grasses. White pepper. Then hints of liquorice roots in the background, with a light vegetal bitterness. Mineral notes grow stronger over time, alongside heather and a subtle earthy touch.
Finish: rather long, earthy and ‘green’. Herbal tea with a hint of tonic water and grapefruit peels.
High quality spirit, but the big grainy core and the firm grassy / leafy character makes it less attractive than the 2011 release in my opinion. That said, I’d love to try an older version of these batches as well. Available from Bruichladdich direct or retailers like TyndrumWhisky and Master of Malt.