Review: Bruichladdich The Laddie Eight

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Bruichladdich Distillery

Bottling: Rémy Cointreau

ABV: 50%

Cost: £63.60 from Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich-The-Laddie-Eight

What they say:

The classic, complex Bruichladdich dram, and our very first “Eight”. Our ‘new make’ spirit sets out on its journey through life full of the crisp, fresh, malty flavours derived from trickle distillation – but it is careful management of American and European oak casks that eventually determines the final character of the whisky.

This is perfectly illustrated in the unpeated ‘Laddie Eight’, the latest exclusive for GTR released by head distiller Adam Hannett. Adam’s aim with this vatting is to preserve the elegant, floral notes of the vibrant young spirit while building up the signature salty, citrus tang so characteristic of Bruichladdich. Eight years maturation in our warehouses on the shores of Loch Indaal have perfected a graceful single malt that relates to a very modern craftsmanship.

Character

An elegant expression of Bruichladdich style. Super fruity and full of Atlantic freshness.

Colour

Lemon marmalade.

Nose

The opening notes are of fresh fruit, typical apple and pear slightly under ripe so characteristic of our spirit. Then pear drops apricot and pineapple in fruit syrup rise in the next wave. Vanilla oak is not far behind rolled in malted barley sugar and with a hint of straw. After a moment of warming the glass in your hand the floral tones of gorse and honeysuckle come through. The longer the whisky has to breathe the more you will find on the nose.

Palate

Spice gives way to sweetness as a pepperiness on the lips becomes mango and peach. Layer upon layer of oak from the variation of casks used to create this dram gives vanilla, lemon, honey, toffee and a creamy buttery texture and mouth feel. A second taste will bring hints of fruit, raspberry and strawberry for sure and a touch of citrus and orange marmalade. the complexity is a joy to taste as each style of toasting or charring of the barrels plays its part in bringing a depth of flavour you will be eager to explore. This dram has vitality, depth and mellow-ness all at once as the classic Bruichladdich DNA of soft fruit and floral elegance mix with exotic fruit from such a variety of amazing oak. The quality of our Scottish malted barley is evident as the sweet malt sugar holds all the fruit and oak together in wondrous harmony.

Finish

Fresh sea breeze, sweet floral heather honey and citrus bring this dram to a close, but like a typical island good-bye it’s not cheerio straight away, there is still a word or two to be had as the finish extends into the night with a long lasting vanilla note that doesn’t seem to end.

Distilled 10/03/2008, Lot No L150824 16/044, Bottled 15/03/2016

TW Bruichladdich The Laddie Eight

What I say:

Thanks to Bruichladdich for the official sample. Sampled during the #WhiskyEx twitter tasting on 14th April 2016. This is the new age statement whisky from Bruichladdich, released at 8 years old for Duty Free shopping/travel retail market. During the recent protest by Compass Box regarding the declaration of age statements involved in the make-up of (in their case blended) whisky, Bruichladdich stood by the ethos of their Terroir Matters tagline and promised to reveal full details of the ages of casks (and likely other details) going into their vatted releases starting with this 8 year old. Well done to them too – their are many producers at the moment not brave enough to put single digit age declarations on their whiskies, despite for hundreds of years 8 being a fairly respectable (if not almost standard) age to release maturing spirit into bottles. We at The Whiskyphiles stand by this 100% for us whisky, just like all our other food products, needs to define its provenance from field to plate or glass –  if it is to gain & keep consumer trust these days!

Colour:

Bright champagne gold (3/20), thick and oily legs and large blobby tears

Nose:

Fresh, spring flowers, daffodils, honeysuckle, lemon pancakes, lemon curd, sweet honey, slightly zesty and citric but also cleansing spirit vapours, crisp green apples, nashi pears, sticky sugar syrup, malty and floury/milled cereal barley, and dried grassy hay.

Taste:

Rich, spiced and sweet, cinnamon and white pepper or almost chilli pepper heat stirred into golden syrup – sweet chilli sauce, fruity, apple, pear and orange, apricot and mango, cooked fresh pineapple (reminds me of a particular Thai starter dish), softens with hints of cereal barley malt and woody oak with wisps of vanilla pods and coconut milk

Finish:

Medium, sweet golden syrup and heather honey, spring flowers, a touch drying

Overall:

Fresh and vibrant and full of the joys of spring, more than just the standard fare of citrus/barley/vanilla that many no-age-statements are currently offering. Quite complex with a burst of fruit and for me more than a little similarity to a wonderful Thai starter I recollect with fresh pineapple, chilli and coconut amongst other flavours. Well done!

Score: 84/100

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