"Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.” - Johnny Carson

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#LADDIEMP7 the return of the Bruichladdich unpeated!

October 20, 2017

Again, I am ecstatic to have participated in the latest MP Laddie tasting hosted by the Bruichladdich and Remy Cointreau team. The MP6 I wrote about earlier this year was based around the Octomore line and a range of unique wine cask aging. Now we were able to jump into the un-peated Bruichladdich and explore alternative farms and the barley that they grow. To be honest, I hadn’t visited the regular Bruichladdich line in a while and after this tasting I will never let that happen again! So many flavors to be found and most know that I am a sucker for ex-bourbon casks. All of these samples were 1st fill bourbon casks leaving me with lavish tasting notes.

 

We had Adam Hannett, Head Distiller at Bruichladdich, walk us through each dram. Joining him was Hunter Jackson who is from Sunderland Farms, where 2 of the single malts we tried were from his barley. I did a bit of research on the barley strands and the farms. See what I found out below….

 

A great barley info resource @ Barley Hub 

 

Optic Barley – A spring barley grown in the UK typically for pale ale or whisky. It has high yields and is a very popular barley, grown in most parts of the UK. Developed in the 1990’s, it is now  responsible for about half of all malted barley used in distilling whisky. It is resilient to disease and is harvested in August, later than most.

Sources: Master of Malt and Beer & Brewing

 

Concerto Barley – Sometimes called the “benchmark variety”. It was introduced in 2009 and produces high yields, high hot water extract and low nitrogen. Many whisky producers use this style.

Source: LG Seeds

 

Propino Barley – It’s a spring barley used for both brewing and distilling.

 

Publican Barley – This was introduced in 2008 as a competitor to market lead at the time, Optic. It claims to be resistant to mildew and rhynchosporium.


Sunderland Farms

Now I Googled Mapped Sunderland Farms and this is what comes up. It looks accurate to me! It shows as being just north of Bruichladdich near Loch Gorm.

 

Ten Islay Farms

Slightly self explanatory although I did google “Ten Islay Farms” before I remembered what this was. Single cask #2431 was made from barley grown at 10 different Islay farms. 

 

Here are the drams we tried:

 

Sample #1 – Cask #1694

Barley Type: Optic

Farm: Sunderland

Distilled: December, 9th 2004

Bottled: 2017 – 12 Years Old

Cask Type: 1st Fill Bourbon

Warehouse: W2 L17

62.2% ABV

 

Holly’s Review…

Nose: Honey, graham cracker, biscuity and creamy! Almost like a tanning lotion on the nose.

Palate: Vanilla frosting texture, cherries, some grain spice and a bit briney/salty on the finish.

 

With water: Spice comes out heavy and the creamy texture falls apart. I say sip without water!

 

Sample #2 – Cask #4019

Barley Type: Oxbridge

Farm: Sunderland

Distilled: December, 17th 2008

Bottled: 2017 – 8 Years Old

Cask Type: 1st Fill Bourbon

Warehouse: W14 TS

63.4% ABV

 

Holly’s Review..

Nose: Peanuts, buttery and nutty! Lemon zesty and almost like an herbal lotion.

Palate: Burnt tree and leaves, cedar, deck wood. Has a char smoke to it and quite a dry finish. It starts out a bit viscous but then to heat and dry with grains, citrus and vegetal.

 

With water: Pear mango and melon, gets a bit oily and damp. Could be more of like a lip balm or lotion.

 

Sample #3 – Cask #2431

Barley Type: Concerto/Propino/Publican

Farm: Ten Islay Farms

Distilled: July, 11th 2011

Bottled: 2017 – 6 Years Old

Cask Type: 1st Fill Bourbon

Warehouse: C1 44L

61.5% ABV

 

Holly’s Review…

Nose: Sweet apple and cherry pie, quite earthy but also some caramel. A bit of dusty heather and lemon.

Palate: Honey and caramel toffee, oak, nutmeg and a delicate herbal honey. Citrus rind, tangerine almost heading towards the style of a highland malt with the fruits.

 

With water: More citrus shines through with old lemon, soap and dew. A dam grass dew and a bit of smoke on the finish. With water this is like a hot toddy in a glass – just heat it up!

 

By the photo you can tell that sample #1694 was sensational for my palate. I shared it with a few friends that typically don’t venture outside of their cask strength sherry casks and they even wanted more. It has the creamy lotion texture that can’t be beat. I’m looking forward to Laddie MP8!

 

 

 

 

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