Bruichladdich — Expression Mania

This distillery is nothing if not innovative. As a resident of Silicon Valley, I recognize the spirit of innovation and the result in this case is a company that refuses to be categorized by geography. What they are striving for is excellence in many different styles of whisky. I think I want to break this down by peating level, starting from the top:

  • Octomore
  • Port Charlotte
  • Bruichladdich

Octomore has been distilled to at least 80 ppm phenols. That’s very peaty…but according to folks who would know (I haven’t had the pleasure yet) the peat isn’t so overwhelming that you can’t taste the rest of the flavor components. Port Charlotte is 40 ppm and is, for my money, a great balance.

The final category is the primary distillate produced, and is minimally peated at 3-5 ppm phenols. The last post was about wood, and Bruichladdich spirit marries nicely in bourbon casks. The others are aged in a mix of bourbon and sherry. I haven’t heard of any usage of port or other types of casks. I reserve the right to be wrong — feel free to comment and correct me!

The thing that makes Bruichladdich unique is that they are the only all-Islay whisky. It’s Islay from farm to bottle. And their independent mindedness has produced a wider variety of expressions that one would have expected from any distillery, much less one on Islay. In the next post, I’ll try to drill down another level and explore the simplest (so far) category above: Octomore. I already wrote about Port Charlotte, but I will go into more detail before exploring the broadest category, Bruichladdich.

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