Review No.177. Bruichladdich Islay Barley (2010 edition, 6 Year Old)

I have already reviewed the Classic Laddie which is Bruichladdich entry level core bottle that introduces you to their style.  As mentioned in that review, the Bruichladdich range is a quite bewildering so I suggest you visit their website if you want to know more about it.  This Islay Barley is one that I intentionally sought out because it is made from a mix barley sourced from 8 farms across the island.  The influence of barley on the flavour of whisky intrigues me so I was curious to see how this differs from the Classic Laddie.  Bruichladdich release a different version of the Islay barley every year and this one under review is the 2010 edition and is 6 years old. It is matured in a mix of bourbon and french wine casks.


Whisky: Bruichladdich Islay Barley (2010 edition, 6 Year Old) Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 50%

Nose: Barley sugar, light honey, saw dust, grass, herbs, salt

Taste: Malt, zest, honeycomb, earth, salt, black tea

Finish: Black lemon tea, salt

Score: 3

Summary:  I can see the resemblance to the Classic Laddie but I would not be able to tell what or if the different mix of barley has made any difference.  Overall this is a delicate but strong single malt.  Delicate in that there is a fresh zestiness and maltiness to this on the nose and taste but then strong as it is delivered with 50% alcohol volume. I expected to find some winey notes, which I don’t usually like but it did not come across to me.  I had to add water to this to open it up some more and temper the alcohol.  I find that I have to do this with all light whiskies that are delivered at higher strength.  I like this though, there is something about Bruichladdich that is different to other single malts.  They have a distinct astringent characteristic that works well.  This is an interesting single malt that is worth exploring if you fancy something youthful and fresh.  One for the summer I think.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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