Back to one of our favourite distilleries for a handfill release from 2021 along with our first review from independent bottler, Malts of Scotland.
Bruichladdich Valinch 56 - Lindy MacLellan
Price: £75 / 500ml
This distillery exclusive release was distilled 7th of May 2009 and spent 12 years in a Rivesaltes wine cask (a fortified sweet wine from the south of France). 384 bottles were released exclusively at the Laddie distillery shop.
The nose opens with some plums, slightly burnt croissants, and hints of a berry turnover. Giving it some air and time we’re getting a note of strudel complete with apple, raisin and cinnamon. The easiest way to describe this would be to say we’re in a bakery. Finally there’s some ice cream made with thick whipped double cream.
Initially there’s a sweet note of caramelised fig, some burnt butter and a little dark chocolate. It’s got a spicy finish with a little sweetness that fades into chill heat. Going back to it and there’s some raisins, vanilla, and tobacco. It has a good mouthfeel, but It’s a little too hot, although that’s expected given it's 62.2%.
Nose (with water)
The cinnamon is gone and now the nose is a touch muted. Theres a musty / malty note that makes us think of a distillery washback. Nosing it again and there’s a raisin sweetness along with some toasted brioche, honey, and dairy milk chocolate.
Palate (with water)
Even with a splash of water it’s still a touch hot, but the water does open this up. In addition to the above we’re getting some honey and ash. With air there’s a lot of sweetness that reminds us of a Kentucky bourbon. The mouthfeel remains good, and this a good length finish.
The cask type along with the Laddie spirit has combined to create something that actually pretty enjoyable, unfortunately it’s just not quite enough to justify the £75 for a 500ml bottle. We suggest you keep your pennies as there’s better options from the distillery. We'd still happily have another dram though.
Malts of Scotland Bruichladdich Cask MoS21038
Our first Malts of Scotland review is a 19yo Laddie that’s spent its life in a Douro wine cask.
Initially on the nose we’re getting a big hit of fruit in the form of apricots, red apple, and Blackcurrant Ribena. Air reveals a touch of caramel syrup and chocolate. There’s also an earthiness / warehouse funk here that we often get from Laddie. Here it could be mistaken for smoke.
On our first sip we’re reminded of a ruby port that’s been turned up to 10. Unfortunately it’s followed by a long, spicy and very alcoholic finish that spoils it slightly. Going back to it after a little air and there’s some simple syrup, apricot, chocolate and blackcurrant jam. We’re getting notes of cinnamon and chilli on the finish, and with them a little fruit that would be easier to identify out if not for heat / alcohol. This definitely needs a splash of water.
Nose (with water)
On the reduced nose water has pushed the fruity notes into the background. There’s now more spice in the form of cinnamon, and black pepper. It's more musty now with a hint of brown sugar, and marzipan.
Palate (with water)
We needed to add a large splash of water as a few drops didn’t do much to change the palate. There’s now less spice, with sweet notes of vanilla and orange peel coming to the fore. There’s a faint ashy note on the mid palate / finish. Even with a fair amount of water we’re still finding this too hot. The finish remains long and spicy with faint fruit.
This is good value for a 19yo, but it’s far too hot without water and unfortunately water dulls some of the sweeter / fruitier notes. It’s not terrible just a little flawed / disappointing. Personally, we’d have a dram another dram but would pass on a bottle.
- 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.
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