The Whisky Exchange announced a series of exclusive casks recently. Our pick for today is this Bruichladdich 2004, an 18 year old single cask bottling. It aged in a first-fill Sauternes cask and is part of the Cask Evolution Exploration series.
Bruichladdich regularly uses Sauternes casks. In general they have a preference for sweet wines (Sauternes but also VDN, such as like Rivesaltes), which tend to combine well with the creamy texture of their spirit. They also relied on Sauternes for the recent Port Charlotte SC:01 for instance.
Bruichladdich 18 yo 2004 (61,8%, OB ‘Cask Evolution Exploration’ for The Whisky Exchange 2023, first-fill Sauternes cask #1518, 234 btl.)
Nose: a lot of tofffe notes, creamy vanilla and hints of Sablés Bretons. Some minty oak spice. Then more red fruits appear, as well as herbal honey and the slightly funky / farmy note that is so typical of Bruichladdich (but more of Port Charlotte). Later it returns to ripe apricot and dark caramelized notes.
Mouth: quite thick and woody. Sweetness of slightly over-baked pastry and caramelized nuts, as well as nutmeg and black tea. Black peppercorns and gingery notes. Then back to vanilla, roasted apricots and baked apples. A lot of flavours fighting for attention.
Finish: long, on chocolate and caramel biscuits, with the rich oak leaving a warming, spicy feeling.
The typical apricot-y Sauternes character is transformed into a darker, slightly syrupy style here. The characteristic Bruichladdich notes are also present and they take this heavy cask treatment really well. Overall a very rich, dessert-style whisky. Now available from The Whisky Exchange.