Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley
Single Malt — Islay, Scotland
Reviewed December 22, 2020 (edited January 15, 2021)
Nose: Dark fruits. For being unpeated, there's a rich, earthy quality that almost comes across as peat. Just a touch of sea spray and lemon. Grilled peaches with chevre and a drizzle of honey. Pie crust with butter. Slight herbal character floating on top, with mint being the most obvious. Very "soft" and "round" character, with some excellent sweet barley holding everything together. Smells almost like the end of a bowl of honey nut cheerios, with that distinct combo of honey, cereal, and milk. Graham crackers and chocolate. Vanilla. Just the slightest pencil eraser note - you really have to draw a big whiff to get it. Palate: That richness carries through to the palate. Just the slightest new make funk, but it's not taking away from anything. Vanilla, berries, grains. Sweet and, again, that lightly minty herbal character weaving through. Cream. Pears. Apricots. Just a touch of black pepper, nutmeg, clove. Cocoa. For being so young and a decent proof, this is incredibly friendly and approachable. I'm actually not missing the cask influence like I normally would. Again, soft and round, with nothing sticking out. This hits the whole palate pretty evenly with striking balance and integration. Medium mouthfeel. Finish: Citrus, vanilla, and peach. A small rush of ethanol, but nothing intense. Black pepper, wintergreen, and cider spices in some boiling water. A clean mineral water experience follows and allows everything to drift off. Medium long length. Other notes: I really want to run the side-by-side with some Octomore 11.1 - I think I'm picking up some of the same shared barley charcter in both, and it's really appealing. Though this isn't necessarily in my preferred bold profile, this is a damn good whisky. Like everything else Bruichladdich does, each batch is different, keeping this interesting and fun over time. While not something I'll feel compelled to always have on hand, this is absolutely something I'll feel compelled to get when each batch releases. Highly recommended.