All about making whisky
Single Malt, Scotland / Islay, 70cl, Ref: 16141
- The brand
The desire to take on new challenges at this distillery is so high that it would take almost an entire chapter to describe all the different experimental bottlings of the Bruichladdich single malt, created under the aegis of Mark Reynier and Jim McEwan. In addition to the “classic” range of unpeated whiskies, they have released peated malts (the 3D and Port Charlotte range, followed by Octomore, the spirit with the highest phenolic content ever seen), triple-distilled malts and even quadruple-distilled malts, not to mention the different casks used for maturation, a process the “laddies” prefer to call A.C.E (Additional Cask Enhancement) rather than “finishing”. Bought in 2012 by the French group Rémy Cointreau, the distillery seems to be moving towards the production of more classic styles using only 100% Scottish barley. Find out more
Following its acquisition in 2000 by a group of investors, the Bruichladdich distillery underwent a meticulous renovation in 2001, which enabled the owners to keep almost all of the original 19th century equipment, including an open brewing tank and very elongated onion-shaped stills (the stills for the second distillation are six metres high). The resulting single malt is very mildly peaty, being characterised by its coastal origins, with a scent of sea air and salty flavours on the palate. Reserving all of its production for the single malt market, Bruichladdich is also the only distillery to age and bottle its whisky on the isle of Islay. It produces two heavily peated releases: Port Charlotte and Octomore.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
Cask strength simply means that the contents of the cask have not been diluted with water. This is therefore a range of whiskies that have been bottled at their natural strength without any dilution. These whiskies are also not chill filtered – enabling a finer appreciation of their character – and carry a detailed label specifying the number(s) of the cask(s) in the blend, the date of the distillation and the bottling, and usually the type of cask(s) selected. This range will delight fans of special release whiskies bottled at cask strength.