Sherried Bruichladdich can be a wonderful thing and more and more of them have been appearing in the hands of various independent bottlers. Some of them are crazy dark, like there was a bucket load of PX Sherry sitting in the bottom when they filled the barrel.
These are two I’ve tried recently:
Bruichladdich 2006 Whiskybroker 55.7%
Colour: Coca Cola
Nose: A massive Sherry monster. Dark and rich with a lot of complexity to it. Dark orange, dark chocolate, tobacco, plum, date, sticky raisin, damp wood, complex cherry, cocktail cherry, cherry jam, fruit compote, there's some subtle minerality behind reminding you we're on Islay. Bran flakes, coffee, something liqueur like, maybe ameretto? Oh and vanilla fudge.
Water: Softer. Damp tobacco, dark Oloroso sherry, raisin, some Christmas cake, some marzipan, walnut. Less complex though.
Taste: Intense arrival, big whisky, lots of sharpness up front, sour, sour cherry, splintered dry wood (making me think it's an old one actually), lots of oak, really dry, puckering tannins, spices, no sweetness at all! Then more sour orange, malt, date and plum, fig, some chocolate and malt. Not too complex but the oak and sourness really dominate here. Tastes much older than 11. After some oxygen there's a little meaty note like some kind of honey glazed ham, quite delicious.
Water: Much softer arrival, none of that sour or sharpness, damp tobacco, dark chocolate, coffee beans, dark roasted malt eaten out the bag at a brewery, dark caramel, hard tannins, dry oak, quite spicy still too and virgin oak-like spices with ginger and nutmeg.
Finish: Long length. Darker, more tobacco, dark caramel, dark chocolate, americano coffee and some nutmeg and cinnamon spice. Great finish.
11yo, bottled 2017. Very oaky for the age, and some older Bourbon-like notes here too.
Bruichladdich 14 TBWC 50.5%
Nose: Darker than the colour lets on. Dark orange, dark chocolate, coffee, fig, some PX Sherry, plum and raisin, a little ash. More complex over time.
Taste: Sweet, PX Sherry, stewed raisin, black date and fig, dark orange, then dark chocolate, malt and black coffee, black cherry.
Finish: Long length. Very rich, very sweet, black cherry sauce, oak, spice. Drier.
Wonderful sweetness to this! If you've got a sweet tooth, this one is for you!
Average Score: 79.3
Distillery Ranking: 12th/ 62 places
Up/Down: No movement
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #658-#659
Whisky Network Reviews #791-#792
Network Average: 75.0
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.