Type: Single malt Scotch whisky
Origin: Islay, Scotland
Age: 32 years
Malt Mileage rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This Bruichladdich 32 year old was distilled in 1984 and filled into ex-bourbon casks on 31 December of that same year. Many years later in 2008, Bruichladdich’s former master distiller Jim McEwan re-casked this whisky into fresh bourbon. This whisky comes from the last 12 casks of the 1984 “legacy distillation”, and it was finally drawn on 20 September 2017.
The results of this long maturation in bourbon wood, which lasted 32 years, are spectacular.
Nose: I never thought I’d say this, but this whisky smells like the salted caramel choc top vanilla ice cream you can get at the movies. The caramel, though, is complex and nuanced – who knew there could be so many shades of caramel? The caramel morphs back and forth from being golden and gooey to brittle and burnt to raw and sugary, and within all that lovely sugary goodness is scorched nuts, apricot jam, toasted coconut, dates and herbs, especially rosemary.
Taste: Sweet and jammy, with lemon, apricot and orange peel. Burnt caramel leads into toasted oak and a plethora of spice, with undercurrents of ground coffee, nuts, maple syrup, tobacco and a pinch of salt.
Finish: Orange and lemon softens into mandarin, with golden honey adding sweetness to an opulent finale of leather, warming spices, ginger and ginger bread.
Overall: Despite spending just over three decades in bourbon casks, this whisky has the remarkable ability to convey its vibrant fruity spirit amid dynamic and complex oak flavours. If I wore a hat, I’d tip it to Bruichladdich for producing this stellar malt. You know what, stuff it, 6 stars!