Bruichladdich Black Arts 5.1

Bruichladdich Black Arts 5.1

Whisky: Bruichladdich Black Arts 5.1

Region: Islay

ABV: 48.4%

Price: ~£250 (bought on auction)

This is the first black arts released by Adam Hannet after he took over from Jim McEwan as Head distiller.


Pears, stewed apples with cinnamon, pineapple, lemon zest, coconut flesh, fresh ripe peach, taking a visit to lush, very pleasant aromas but all quite similar.


French Apple tart (tatain), strawberry jam, fruitcake without the icing, a hint of fresh rosemary, Key lime pie without the creaminess, actually not a very thick or luscious body at all, a little thin. Finish is quite spicy yet dissipates quicker than I’d like from a whisky of this prestige.

Nose (with water)

Nose gets more woody and maltiness, fruits disappear into the background. Quite tannic, A hint of raspberry appears. Some notes of chocolate and coffee. Light sherry. Loses a lot of freshness.

Palate (with water)

Palate has espresso, darker fruits and sugars coming through with a bitter finish, but one that is still pretty short.


Overall this dram has a lot going for it and is very easy drinking, however for the price I’d expect something with more oomph and a longer finish. Water seems to radically change the flavours and aromas, so care is needed when diluting. Having read other comments, it seems as if this is a departure from the quality of the previous 4 releases.

Score: 6/10

  • 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.

Have you tried Bruichladdich Black Arts 5.1? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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