Bruichladdich “DNA” – Maybe the Rarest Bruichladdich

A relatively new expression, and a very very rare one, consists of about 900 individually numbered bottles at cask strength (in this case, 41%…these are, or were, very old casks!). What makes this expression rare, besides the fact that this is some of the oldest Bruichladdich spirit in their warehouse? The DNA expression was finished in fine French oak barrels that previously contained some of the [sometimes] most expensive red wine in the world: Château Le Pin.

Very Very Rare

Very Very Rare

The finished product is approximately 40 years old. Before being finished in the Le Pin casks, 80% of the constituent whisky in this expression was aged in Bourbon casks, the remaining 20% in Sherry butts.

One reason that Bruichladdich is able to use wood in creative ways (their ACE process) is, I think, the fact that Jim McEwan has a background as a cooper, in addition to his subsequent distilling experience. He really knows what kinds of wood will bring out the best in a particular whisky. The Bruichladdich management team’s familiarity with the wine business is also strongly at play here (as it was with their Bordeaux “First Growth” series) because they knew that the Le Pin casks would be perfect for this particular, very old, Bruichladdich spirit.

Given the rarity, I was bowled over by the price: It’s under £500 — the Laddie Shop offers it for only £391.48 (at current exchange rates, that’s “only” $567.10). That’s about 3x my comfort level for a whisky, but given the rarity it sounds extremely reasonable. Bruichladdich only has 12 available for online ordering. If you do manage to try it, please taunt me with a description. Definitely don’t just buy it and keep it on the shelf, or to pass along on eBay. In my opinion, I am not in favor of people collecting whisky just to keep it — I think that does a disservice to the fine folks that made it when you don’t enjoy the fruit of their labors. Also, I never miss an opportunity to share really special whisky with my friends (and they do the same for me).

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