Today we’re looking at another two of the most recent releases from Dramfool.
Dramfool 57th Release Bruichladdich 11yo
For the 57th release Dramfool has bottled an 11yo Laddie that was matured in a first fill bourbon barrel. It was distilled in 2010 with just 173 bottles released.
Icing sugar, costal see breeze, and honey. There’s a fair amount of sweetness on the nose that would have have had us guessing it spent longer in a bourbon cask. Going back to it and we’re finding some citrus starting to show along with cream soda, pepper, warm plastic, pine cones from a Christmas tree, alpine, and old leather. A promising start.
Barely sugars, honeycomb and caramel, alongside some green chilli spice on a good length finish. It’s got a good mouthfeel, but we’re finding it’s a too spicy for us. Going back to it and there's a nice sweet treacle/golden syrup note, orange peel, white sugar cubes, and flat cream soda. The spice overpowers the sweetness slightly. Hopefully a few drops of water will bring this into better balance.
Nose (with water)
The nose holds up well to water. Reduction has brought the alpine, musty, and pine cone notes to the fore. While the citrus notes have disappeared. We’re also noticing notes of double cream, toasted marshmallows, Honey nut loops, and vanilla custard cream biscuits.
Palate (with water)
Water tames the alcohol bite somewhat, but also takes away a lot of the sweetness. We’re finding a dominant note of candied ginger that appears on the mid palate and carries through to the (still) good length finish. We’re also noticing a slight bitterness appearing that reminds us of a cheap dark chocolate. The sweetness that is here is now more synthetic like cream on an iced bun.
If you read our SMWS outturn reviews you’ll notice we try / review a fair few young first fill bourbon casks a month and while this has its flaws it does stand out as above average. Unfortunately it’s also significantly more expensive than most other young first fills. Given the price it’s a 7/10 from us.
Side note.. speaking of the SMWS, they just released a 13yo first fill Laddie for £135. It might be the case that the distillery is charging a fortune for casks now and this is the new normal.
Dramfool 58th Release Bruichladdich 11yo Rivesaltes Barrique #2
The 58th release from Dramfool was matured in a first fill Rivesaltes barrique. It was distilled in 2010 and bottled at 11 years. Just 149 bottles were released.
It opens with a costal / musty note we usually find on young laddies that instantly transports us to Islay. Behind it there’s strawberry jam, cherries and cranberries. Going back to it we find an acidic note appearing, like raspberries marinated in lemon juice. As we go back to it its starting to remind us Robinson summer fruit cordial. We’re also getting cashew nuts and a slight woodiness. It’s another promising nose.
The palate opens as expected with lots of red fruits similar to those found on the nose except these have been drizzled in chocolate sauce. There's a pepper spice that outlasts the sweetness on a good length finish. As we go back to it we’re finding it’s quite tannic and mouth drying. There’s also some melted runny honey here and a slight burnt caramel notes that reminds us of a burnt creme brûlée.
Nose (with water)
Water brings out that burnt caramel we were tasting on the palate. We’re noticing a lot of the fruit flavours have disappeared. There’s now a dusty note, a faint ash / toasted note, and some zesty lime peel. The chocolate from the palate is also now appearing on the nose alongside a note of cream soda.
Palate (with water)
A few drops of water has diminished the tannins and it’s no longer so mouth drying. Unfortunately it’s now fairly spicy. We’re getting lots of cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. Finish remains a good length with a little more of the sweetness lingering. We’re noticing a texture to this as it sits on the tongue like fizzy soda water. There’s also an ever so slight bitterness, but it doesn’t ruin this. It’s also developed notes of honey syrup, creme brûlée, and raisins.
Personally we’d skip water on this one. While this was the preferred of todays two Laddie reviews it’s also a little too tannic for us and at £25 more expensive. We’re not able to rate this any higher than a 7/10 either.
- 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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