Friends of Bruichladdich 14yo Cask #1732 “The Laddie Show” & Bruichladdich Erin’s cask (The Wee Dram)


Today we’re visiting one of our favourite Islay distilleries to try single cask releases.

Friends of Bruichladdich 14yo Cask #1732 “The Laddie Show”

Region: Islay

ABV: 60.2%

Price: £125.00 (50cl)

This “FOB” bottling was distilled 18th July 2008 and matured in a bourbon cask for 14 years. Only 223 bottles, each containing 50cl, were released.

Nose

Initially the nose is a little tight, but as we sit with it we are able to detect notes of strawberry laces, lemon juice, and whipped cream. Sitting behind these notes there’s a backbone of Islay sea air, mustiness, and saltiness that we usually find from Bruichladdich. Time in the glass reveals churros, burnt wood, green apples, black pepper, tangerines, and dairy milk.

Palate

We’re finding this is very citrus-forward, with dominant flavours of oranges, lemonade, and saltine solution. It has a nice mouthfeel with an oily texture, and we’re finding the citrus notes linger along with peppery spice on the good length finish. As the whisky opens up, we also notice some notes of icing sugar, strawberry jam, residual ash, and salted caramel. A slight critique is that we find the alcohol to be a just a touch too hot.

Nose (with water)

Adding water to the whisky brings out some oak and intensifies the green apples note turning it into sour apple chewits. The mustiness is also more pronounced and along with the salt there’s now a hint of vinegar. The other notes remain broadly similar.

Palate (with water)

Adding water to the whisky reduces that slightly hot alcohol bite, but also makes it spicier, with heaps of ginger and cinnamon notes appearing. We’re also now detecting some blackberries and synthetic cream. Personally we’d skip water as the changes to the nose are minimal and the palate doesn’t really benefit.

Conclusion

If you’re a Laddie fan and you have/could get a bottle then we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. For everyone else while this is good whisky, it’s not the best value. Saying that it’s worth noting that the cask lost 90 litres during maturation, so the price is unsurprising. It’s also fairly priced against other IBs from the distillery. It’s just unfortunate the price of casks from Laddie are so high. As fans we’re giving this an 8/10.

Score: 8/10


Bruichladdich Erin’s cask (The Wee Dram)

Region: Islay

ABV: 50.00%

Price: £68.00

This cask was distilled on the 12th May 2006, matured exclusively in a fresh sherry hogshead, and bottled at 16 years old. The bottle is being sold exclusively via the Wee Dram Shop.

Nose

On the nose, the distinct Islay sea air and mustiness is back, along with underlying notes of chocolate-covered dates, toffee crisp chocolate bars, and a hint of sherry vinegar. As it opens up in the glass, additional aromas emerge, such as Christmas cake, yeast, a touch of clove, oak, black pepper, tobacco, and salt.

Palate

The palate presents flavours of red cola, honey, ketchup, and treacle, these carry through to a medium length finish, before a slight alcohol bite takes over and lingers on the tongue. It’s good, but we’re finding the palate is just a touch thin. Giving it air reveals hints of salt, a slight bitterness, golden syrup, sour cola bottles, and cardamom. Despite its 50% ABV, it is surprisingly easy to drink.

Nose (with water)

The addition of water has brought out aromas of chocolate croissants, lemon peel, and a pleasant nuttiness. While the nose was already nice without water, the addition of a few drops has opened it up. Upon revisiting the whisky, we can detect a slight sourness, notes of chocolate, burnt caramelised brown sugar, and light pipe smoke. As the whisky sits in the glass, a slight floral note also becomes apparent.

Palate (with water)

The addition of water has enhanced the sour cola bottles, honey and sherry notes while also revealing dark chocolate and a subtle coffee bitterness. But honestly, we're unsure if the palate has improved with the dilution as it appears to be slightly thinner than before.

Conclusion

This is a very drinkable whisky that some may find benefits from adding a few drops of water. From a technical standpoint, we slightly prefer the Friends of Laddie bottling. However, considering its £65 price and 16-year maturation in a Sherry butt, we can't rate it lower than 8/10. At the time of writing, it is still available for purchase.

Score: 8/10

  • 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.

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