Bottled: 2007, Distilled: 1992
Age: 14 years old
Cask: Bourbon, Sherry + 3 months salted herring cask
More Info: WhiskyBase (fish) and WhiskyBase (pre-fish)
Here’s a well known weird (and rare) indy bottling of Bruichladdich.
This was bottled in Germany as two different bottlings. Both spent time in a single bourbon cask and a single sherry cask with half being bottled and the other half spending an additional 3 months in a salted herring cask!
First, the pre-fishy version:
Nose: Ozone and salty air. Sour cranberries in custard with dried apricots. Thick treacle and golden syrup. A whisper of mint fondant.
Palate: Vanilla custard and bursting fresh raspberries with salt, and a light hint of peaty earth. Chocolate and espresso grounds and some juicy spiced sultanas.
Finish: Creamy with black pepper and dessert spices.
Mmmmm this is a lovely Bruichladdich. Creamy, fruity, salty and sweet. Classic.
Let’s see how the herring cask changes it:
Nose: Much oilier and dirtier. Salty wet leather. A little vanilla but the fruit notes are gone.
Palate: Nicer than I expected! Salty and maritime still but sweet with toffee and vanilla notes. Very oaky.
Finish: Drying and leathery with no hint of fish at all. Spicy wood flavours. Slightly ashy.
So the fish barrel didn’t ruin the whisky but the wood definitely imparted a strong influence, very similar to virgin oak matured whiskies. Surprisingly good!
The pre-fish is the winner for me though, in spite of how surprisingly drinkable the fish cask is. The pre-fish is fruitier and much more delicate and interesting.
You’ll struggle to find these bottlings anywhere now. Probably occasionally at auction but they’re more a curiosity than a serious investment. One for the keen Laddie fan-boy at least…