As mentioned in our previous whisky review on the Bruichladdich Islay Barley, we did a comparative tasting of the Bruichladdich Classic (based on Scottish barley) in comparison to the Islay barley unpeated line. In our back-to-back tasting, both our preferences were with the standard Classic Laddie.
While the Islay barley has a sweet and pleasant profile, the Scottish barley used in their Classic Laddie has a lot more depth and complexity – and lends itself to more of the slightly sea salt Bruichladdich taste profile. Note however that this comparison is only against the Islay unpeated 2007 edition exclusively in American oak casks – I have yet to try the other Islay editions which feature marriages with such casks as wine and sauternes, which I desperately now want to try.
However, I’m very glad I went through the exercise of tasting this – it gives a very good understanding of the salted caramel taste that I tend to find in a lot of Port Charlotte bottlings that I love.
Bruichladdich Classic Laddie 2007
- Score 7.57.5/10
Nose: Salted bread, lemon, blackberries, honey, almost a malty beer nose, chocolate and earthy moss.
Palate: Funk(!) Salted caramel. Some pepper spice, mangoes, and corn sweetness.
Medium finish. Leaves a tropical and citrus aftertaste.
7.5/10. Complex. This is an excellent representation of the saltiness of the sea-side aging facility giving Bruichladdich its unique taste without the peat.
TLDR: Salted caramel covered fruits.
Overall: A great dram and really helps me understand why I love the peated Port Charlotte bottlings so much.
Bought for: ~$60/miniature set at Jackson’s Wine & Spirits in Lafayette, CA
- ABV: 50%
- Cask: American oak
- Age: No Age Statement
- 100% Scottish barley
- Non-chill filtered, coloring free
- Bruichladdich was our favorite distillery tour on Islay (read more about our visit here). It is also the largest private employer on Islay (even more than Laphroaig or Lagavulin) due to its reliance on manpower versus machines.
- It is famous for its Octomore line, which is known for having extremely high peat levels – even up to 200 to 300 ppm (its 08.3 has 309 ppm). Its peated Port Charlotte line is 40 ppm.
- Prides itself on being highly experimental and for trying to feature terroir (even releasing a “terroir-ed” gin called Botanist)
- Built in 1881 but mothballed in 2000 – before it was purchased by its fan and aficionado Mark Reynier. Now owned by Remy Cointreau.