SMWS Bruichladdich Distillery Vertical


We were lucky enough to taste a selection of Society Laddies from the 60's, 80's 90's and 2000's and wanted to share our thoughts. These reviews will be a little shorter than usual, and we'll be rating them based on if they were obtainable for a reasonable price in todays whisky market. 

SMWS 23.10

Name: N/A
Age: 25 - Distilled February 1968, Bottled August 1993
Flavour Profile: N/A
Cask Type: N/A
ABV: 46.7%

It has that wonderful old whisky smell. It’s very delicate, light and fruity alongside some varnish and a slightly floral note. We're starting to pick out more distinctive notes such as pineapple, orange peel, and fresh grass. It’s zesty, managing to maintain a freshness whilst being both refined and elegant. As the dram opens up, we do get a petrol-like note which doesn't feel like it fits in with the other aromas.

The palate begins sweet with orange boiled sweeties, a hint of caramel, tinned pineapple, some salinity and a touch of warming spice that is integrated well with the other flavours. The palate is a little thinner than we’d like and the finish is disappointingly short.. it just disappears. It’s better on the nose than the palate, but still very drinkable.

Score: 7/10


SMWS 23.28

Name: N/A
Age: 11 - Distilled November 1986, Bottled September 1998
Flavour Profile: N/A
Cask Type: N/A
ABV: 58.7%

Coastal, sea spray, a nice oiliness, with a little brine juxtaposed with vanilla and bourbon sweetness. There’s a little herbal mint coming through too, a touch of rubber and plastic. The palate has a nice bourbon sweetness, mixing into salted caramel, custard doughnuts, and bitter grapefruit towards the finish. The palate is a touch spicy too, mostly on the latter palate, along with yeast, chocolate croissants and the pith from a lemon.

Score: 7/10


SMWS 23.44

Name: N/A
Age: 15 - Distilled April 1989, Bottled June 2004
Flavour Profile: N/A
Cask Type: N/A
ABV: 56.1%

A restrained nose, floral notes of lavender, melon, musty vanilla and a biscuity/breadlines. There’s a citrus aroma appearing, waxed lemon peel and wet grass. The palate begins with a punch of oak tannins, vanilla pods, peppery spice that lingers on the tongue, but the dram does peter out quicker than we’d like. There’s a slight salinity appearing after some time in the glass, some chewey mints and fondant icing. The mouthfeel is nice though, creamy and oily, and with the addition of water we’re finding a reduced spice and increased bourbon cask sweetness.

Score: 7/10


SMWS 23.77

Name: You're a wonderful one
Age: 29 - Distilled March 6th, 1991
Flavour Profile: Old & Dignified
Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead
ABV: 53.9%

Sweet red fruits, strawberries, raspberries, mint, and cinnamon spice, It’s a little peppery on the nose but we’re getting a lot of richer caramel and brown sugar aromas that are able to combat this. The palate is oily, a slight salinity with vanilla custard, toffee, salty fudge and freshly grated nutmeg. There’s a punch of peppery oak coming through on the beginning of the palate, moving into creamier, nuttier and woodier flavours. Well rounded and quite delicious. The dram of the tasting by far.

Score: 8/10


SMWS 23.32

Name: N/A
Age: 8 - Distilled May 1992, Bottled June 2000
Flavour Profile: N/A
Cask Type: N/A
ABV: 59.8%

It’s very funky off the bat, slightly medicinal, with grapefruit, a little salted beef, and rubber too. There’s a musty character to the spirit, along with Ryvita crackers and yeast. The palate begins dry, bready, with sawdust, white pepper, and a little bit of sweetness creeping through in the form of shortbread and light brown sugar. Water accentuates the funk, but brings a zestiness through on the palate, along with salted caramel and malt. A little weird to be honest and not for us.

Score: 6/10


SMWS 23.68

Name: Smoky Pavlova
Age: 8 - Distilled June 2002, Bottled 2010
Flavour Profile: N/A
Cask Type: Refill sherry butt
ABV: 66.0%

We’d be curious of peoples thoughts on what this one is. It’s not a Lochindaal or Rhinns, and our assumption is that is just standard Laddie spirit produced from peated barley, but if anyone has any ideas please let us know.

There’s an ashy peat smoke that catches you off guard. There’s also engine oil, vegetal notes of thyme, and burnt toast. Air reveals cinnamon, smoked strawberries, Maldon salt, and cherries in syrup. The palate is big and bold, with lots of warming ginger and cinnamon spice sprinkled over a fruit salad of strawberries and cherries, all under a dome of smoke. The mouthfeel is nice and the finish lingers on with bonfire smoke, charred wood and Danish pastries. Well balanced, good mixture of peat and sherry.

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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