We’re excited today as we have two laddies up for review today including the Biodynamic Project! Onto the whisky..
The Bruichladdich Biodynamic Project
Following on from The Ternary Project, Bruichladdich have just recently released The Biodynamic Project. This release was distilled in 2011, from a 2010 harvest of biodynamic barley. It was then matured for 10 years in first fill ex bourbon casks. This has the honour of being the first biodynamic scotch whisky release, it is limited to 5,000 bottles, and is only available from the Laddie distillery shop.
If your curious about what exactly biodynamic farming is, here’s a little excerpt pulled from the laddie press release:
“A biodynamic farming system is, about creating a farming system that nurtures all organisms within it. Barley is rotated with other cereals and a diverse ley which includes 23 species of herbs, legumes and grasses. All rooting at different depths, these plants thrive in diversity, working in the opposite to a monoculture. The soil is fed with organic matter & micro-organisms to increase its structure and fertility, contributing to a symbiotic food system both above and below ground. A recent carbon audit on the farm used for this release saw that 10 x more carbon was sequestered (drawn down) than was emitted.”
Education over, onto the whisky…
On the nose we’re getting yeast, some oats, and digestive biscuit. To be honest the nose on this is very reserved, and we’re not finding it particularly complex. Going back to it there’s also toffee syrup, custard creams, and cut grass.
Palate opens with toffee apples, actually make that burnt toffee apples, vanilla pods and chocolate sauce. Some chilli flakes on the finish. Again not overly complex.
Nose (with water)
Water brings out a musty note, with the toffee notes receding as does the yeastiness. They’re replaced by cream and some Cadbury chocolate flake.
Palate (with water)
Water has also dampened down the toffee note, replacing it with some tobacco, maple syrup and lemon. Decent length finish here with pepper spice lingering on the palate.
How much? £100. How old? 10yo…. Nah, pass. It’s a simple dram and it’s disappointingly expensive. This isn’t bad, but earlier in the year we reviewed the McEwan Signature Collection - 3.1 Bruichladdich 2010 Islay Barley release, a 10yo first fill bourbon single cask release which blows this out of the water in every way. Yes, it was twice the price, but after trying this it feels like it might have been a bargain.
Bruichladdich: The Laddie Eight
Laddie 8 is/was a travel retail exclusive. We’re not sure if it still is, as with the state of the world as it is we’ve not been jet setting around the world lately. What we do know is if you look around online you’ll be able to find a bottle. These releases are a vatting of multiple casks. we believe this batch was a mixture of 63 casks which included some 1st fill bourbon casks, 1st fill Amarone hogsheads, and 2nd fill Tempranillo hogsheads.
Nose has notes of strawberry jam, a little ethanol, and Starbucks caramel latte. Letting it have a little time and air brings out some barley, cream, and peach.
Opens with a lot of spice and alcohol. Sticking with it there’s also some white sugar lumps, caramel, and honey. Revisiting it after a few minutes there’s also some lemon, and ginger.
Nose (with water)
With water the caramel latte we nosed earlier becomes just caramel. This is also a lot more biscuity with some porridge oats. Based on the nose we wouldn’t personally water it.
Palate (with water)
Water however has helped the palate as there’s now more caramel, less spice, hints of tobacco, and some brown sugar. Finish is short, but the toffee notes linger at the end to compensate.
If we we’re rating these side beside blind we’d give the win here to the Biodynamic Project, but given this is half the price and only just below the latter in taste we’ll give this a 7/10 and recommend you save the pennies.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.