Drink Magazine

Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part 1

By Josh Peters @TheWhiskeyJug

This tasting started life as a virtual event. I’d broken down all the bottles for this, and part 2, into sample bottles and we were all prepared to have these two epic tastings take place on Zoom. And then everyone started to get vaccinated. So we punted them a few months further out and did them in person instead.

Malt Nuts - Peated Bruichladdich Round 1 - 12

It was kind of odd, but actually quite nice, to see everyone show up with their whisky sample bottles ready to go. There was no bottle passing, looking for where the blanks went, etc. We all just sat down and started tasting, comparing and talking. It left more time for socializing after and reduced the “rushed” feeling of doing some of these mega verticals.

Everyone drank as much, or as little, as they wanted and there was no pressure to “get your money’s worth”. You already had it in the samples in front of you. If you wanted to sip 1/3 and save 2/3 for later you could. I really liked it.

I wish there was an easy way to merge the benefits of the remote and in-person like this. This is the perfect setup for a blind, but the logistics of it are a nightmare unless you have a machine that bottles minis… I’d love one of those.

The point is, this was a great setup, the night was amazing, and now let’s talk about what we drank.

Peated Bruichladdich Part 1 – Round 1

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1A: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Scottish Barley: 50%

  • Nose: Plasticy peat, fruit, malt, spice and some bubblegum.
  • Palate: Plasticy peat, fruit, malt, spice and some cinnamon and bubblegum.
  • Finish: Long -> Plasticy peat, fruit and oil.
  • Overall: (3 / 5) Tasty. Kinda rough and unruly, but in that perfectly acceptable Islay way.

1B: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley: 50%

  • Nose: Waxy, peaty, fruity and malty with bits of cinnamon, mint and nuts.
  • Palate: Waxy, peaty, fruity and malty with bits of cinnamon, mint and nuts.
  • Finish: Long -> Plasticy, malty, fruity and smoky.
  • Overall: (3 / 5) A weird combination of notes that works on every sniff and sip.

1C: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012: 50%

  • Nose: Smoke, fruit, malt, char, spice and a touch of bubblegum.
  • Palate: Malt, smoke, spice, fruit, and a bit of char and bubblegum.
  • Finish: Long -> Fruit and smoke.
  • Overall: (3.5 / 5) Lots of fruit keeps this thing interesting and complex. The bubblegum notes make me wonder if French Oak is used in whatever this is.

Post-Reveal Commentary: This grouping of all Scottish-sourced barley was fun. It was interesting to see the differences in the years and how they compared. I’d love to do a super vertical of all of these releases.

Peated Bruichladdich Part 1 – Round 2

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2A: Claxton’s Bruichladdich 8 years (11-19): 57.9%

  • Nose: Bright and fruity with bits of smoke, malt, oil, nuts and floral notes.
  • Palate: Malt, fruit, smoke, nuts, oily char and floral.
  • Finish: Long -> Peaty fruit.
  • Overall: (3.5 / 5) Very nice. Has a lovely bright quality to it.

2B: Malts of Scotland Rhinns 8 years (11-19): 56.2% – ex-Red Wine Hogshead

  • Nose: Buttered popcorn jellybeans, vomity (buteric), vanilla cupcakes and dried fruit.
  • Palate: Buteric, unintegrated wine (sweat quality) and smokey malt.
  • Finish: Long -> Vomity, vanilla.
  • Overall: (1 / 5) I can find aspects of it I don’t hate, but it’s mostly awful.

2C: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte CC 01 2007: 57.8% – ex-Eau de Vie (French Oak)

  • Nose: Plasticy peat, fruit, cinnamon, malt, and a bit of sulfur.
  • Palate: Plasticy peat, fruit, cinnamon, malt, and a bit of sulfur.
  • Finish: Long -> Peat, malt, cinnamon.
  • Overall: (3.5 / 5) Reminds me a bit of 1A and like 1A… I like it.

2D: Bruichladdich Octomore 7.1: 59.9% – ex-Bourbon

  • Nose: Sour candy, fruit, malt, smoke, saline.
  • Palate: Fruity, malty, smokey briny and darkly sweet with a touch of buttered popcorn jellybeans.
  • Finish: Long -> Fruit, yellow raisins, smoke and buttered popcorn jellybeans.
  • Overall: (3.5 / 5) Dang, this is tasty stuff. I hope it’s something I can get.

2E: Bruichladdich Octomore 9.3: 62.9% – ex-Bourbon, Virgin oak, ex-Rivesaltes, ex-Syrah

  • Nose: Fruit leather, smoke, spice, caramel, malt, roasted nuts and oil.
  • Palate: Plasticy smoke, BBQ sweetness, spice, caramel, roasted nuts and dried bananas.
  • Finish: Long -> BBQ sweetness and smoke with some fruit.
  • Overall: (4 / 5) I keep waffling between 4.5 and 4, it’s very good. I wish I had more of it!

2F: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PAC: 01 2011: 56.1% – ex-Bourbon, ex-Red wine (French Oak)

  • Nose: Dried fruit, sunkist fruit gems, smoke, char, saline and malt.
  • Palate: Butterscotch, smoke, fruit, char, saline and some floral hints.
  • Finish: Long -> Smoke, camphor and citric acid.
  • Overall: (3 / 5) Coming back to it, the finish turns to cinnamon red hots. Weird, but still lovely all around.

Post-Reveal Commentary: The thing about OB vs Indie ‘Laddie is that they’re not all that different. Some whiskies change quite a bit when they’re done as a SiB through an indie bottler vs when it’s a cask vatting orchestrated by a master blender. Bowmore is a great example of this.

I don’t care much for OB Bowmore, there’s a plasticy funk they blend towards that I don’t care for. But it’s one of my favorite distilleries to snag when it’s an indie SiB, particularly Signatory, because it doesn’t have that note and I love it. ‘Laddie on the other hand is tasty, and similar, in both. Except for that Malts of Scotland Rhinns, that was absolute dreck.

Peated Bruichladdich Part 1 – Round 3

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3A: Bruichladdich Octomore 9.1: 59.1% – ex-Bourbon

  • Nose: Waxy, plastic, smoke, dried fish, citrus peel and malt.
  • Palate: Smokey char, vanilla, malt, caramel, fruit, salty minerality.
  • Finish: Long -> Smoke, citrus and milk chocolate.
  • Overall: (4 / 5) Delicious… just delicious.

3B: Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1: 59.3% – ex-Bourbon

  • Nose: Plasticy fruit, mat, spice, olde candy and nutty.
  • Palate: Olde candy, smoke, spice, and oil.
  • Finish: Long -> Smoke and olde candy with a touch of fruit.
  • Overall: (3.5 / 5) Phenolic Smarties.

3C: Bruichladdich Octomore 4.2 (Comus): 61% – ex-Bourbon, ex-Sauternes

  • Nose: Chalky Necco, peat, malt, peaches, nuts and toffee.
  • Palate: Malt, spice, smoke, chalky Necco, dried orchard fruit and toffee.
  • Finish: Long -> Smoke, fruit, malt and a jammy sweetness.
  • Overall: (4.5 / 5) Kinda want to give this a 5, but something is keeping me from doing it. So good though. Gets a touch earthy as it opens, super nice and… delightful. I want more of this too. Goddamn.

Post-Reveal Commentary: This Octomore face off was awesome. Octomore is always a great way to end an evening, but here we got to try two consecutive .1 editions against my favorite release to-date. There’s just something magical about that Comus.

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If you’re a peated Bruichladdich fan, then this will be a series for you… and me. I’m a fan, so this was one I was really looking forward to. This night was awesome and it fueled the fire of expectation for the following week when we were going to sit down for part 2.

Though luckily you won’t have to wait a whole week. Part 2 will be up tomorrow. See you then.


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Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part
Malt Nuts: Peated Bruichladdich Part

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