Touches of bung cloth, olive oil, rye bread and polished leather, but also oats, sweet oranges, Calvados and a fair amount of vanilla custard. Whiffs of moss and band aids also. The Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2013 is very clean and approachable. Fantastic oily mouthfeel with a proper malty base. There’s some gentian root, lemon pith, ginger and green pepper, but also melons, a whiff of peach and fennel. Water brings out a sweeter side, highlighting honey and brown sugar. Finish: Bitter lemon peel and honey with lingering herbs.
For many, the word Islay is synonymous with peat smoke, however, such is not always the case. Bruichladdich's former master distiller Jim McEwan, an Islay native with over forty years of experience, started a revolution among the island whiskies by skillfully creating a core of bottlings in an array of styles and flavors that are contrary to the region's status quo. Though some are made from peated malt, a majority are not and are more focused on the delicate nuances that come with age and barrels selected from around the world. The true "spirit" of Bruichladdich (pronounced brew-ik-lad-e) starts with organic and heritage barleys grown on selected farms for ultimate individuality. Microchip-free distilling in tall narrow-necked stills, followed by island maturation and natural bottling, producing some of the purest single malts in all of Scotland. From there, Jim selects wine casks from around the globe and when the whisky is ready, he'll rest it in the right barrel for a few month just to add another level of flavor. Fast forward to 2015 and Jim is now retired and Adam Hannett has taken the reins. Adam worked with Jim for many years and is ready to show the world what he's learned. We're excited for what's to come.