Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten – Second Limited Edition (50%, OB 2016)

Bruichladdich released 18,000 bottles of the Laddie Ten Second Edition. It was matured in first fill bourbon, sherry and, unusually (though not necessarily for this distillery), French wine casks. To their credit, they priced it for drinking, not for collecting. It’s bottled at a generous 50% ABV with no chill-filtration or added colouring – Bruichladdich do a lot of things the right way.

Nose: Interesting – it’s both fruity and has a more farmy, meaty quality, almost like a sweeter Craigellachie. There’s also a touch of smoke, as if a few drops of Port Charlotte had crept in the vatting. Water and time bring out more fruit – I don’t get any melon here like a lot of reviewers do, the fruity side reminds me of clementines more than anything else.

Palate: It’s quite tannic, and the farmy note (hay) hasn’t quite gone away. It’s not unpleasant, just quite unusual and not what I’d expected based on other tasting notes. With water, the fruitiness emerges as it did on the nose, on peaches and melons. As it develops it becomes saltier, drier and more astringent.

Finish: Spicy, quite oaky.

Comments: I don’t feel it’s a particularly balanced whisky – and here I seem to disagree with most reviewers, who like it a lot – but it has a profile completely of its own, and for that it has to be commended. It’s not exactly a challenging whisky, but it’s not quite my style.

Score: 81/100

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