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Is Bruichladdich That Good?

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Is Bruichladdich That Good?

Postby Lawrence » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:37 pm

I know I've kicked over the ant's nest a bit with this question but is Bruichladdich that good? From the near cult status that has grown since the distillery open you'd think it was, well, amazing. However when you actually get past the marketing assault and that the whisky I always feel a bit of anti climax. I've tasted all the OB's from the 10 y.o. through (10, 15, 17, 20, 1970) to the 36 y.o. Legacy including the OB "Full Strength" and it's nice but not knock you over good. I understand that the current owners (good on them for saving the place) did not distill any of the whisky that we're tasting today and future offerings might be better. I looked at MJ's scores in his 5th edition and it's all high 70's and 80's, even Jim Murray in his 2004 bible is not that much higher and those two are always slightly apart and rarely agree). Any thoughts?
Last edited by Lawrence on Wed Jun 09, 2004 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bamber » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:59 pm

I've only had the 10YO and I thought it was inoffensive and fresh, but a bit uninspiring.

Bottom line - the bottle's gathering dust and I have not considered buying another expression from the distillery.

The guy in the shop I bought it from sagely informed me it was much more subtle and sophisticated than the other Islay whiskies
:roll: He's really annoying.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:21 pm

I had a look over the submitted tasting notes on my site, and the general OB's are all indeed rated mid 7 to mid 8....

There are however some good 9's too (I know, mainly my own notes...), but those are for expressions like the Valinch (wich is empty now... :( It was really a good dram...)

http://www.peatfreak.com/Cnt.php?search=bruichladdich for who wants to have a peek.

<blunt spam>notes have been submitted with the free program wich is downloadable from the same site if your wondering </blunt spam>)
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Vintage B. Laddie

Postby Eightball » Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:16 pm

Lawrence,
I had a chance to buy the Vintage 1970 and it was fantastic. The price was not fantastic. I payed dearly. I don't think there are too many of these left....

Here are my tasting notes for the 10 year old

Color: golden Yellow
Nose: apples and pears, rich honey, slightly peaty and light
Body: smooth
Palate: round, warm, moist
Finish: smooth, round, and simple
Comments: A simple, fruity whisky. It's not too strong for its young age- excellent.
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Postby Stephen » Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:08 am

Lawrence, we have discussed similar issue before:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopi ... ichladdich

In my opinion,new bruichladdich is much better than previous one.
Bruichladdich 10yo (previous) uses lots of caramel thant makes me sick.
Bruichladdich 15yo (previous) is like a not-bad speysider.

New Bruichladdich really show individuality,Jim likes bourbon style.
Bruichladdich 10yo (new) can't compare to Ardbeg 10yo and Talisker 10yo,but it shows a fresh style.

Bruichladdich 1989 Full Strength is simple,powerful and fragrant like Glenmorangie Traditional.

Bruichladdich 1970 is a classical malt because it's complex, balanced and "soft".
Last edited by Stephen on Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Laphroaig » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:23 am

Wow this is shocking. My experience has been YES the laddie is that good. I don't care for the 10 year old too much myself with the 15 being sort of pedestrian when compared to the better expressions.

The 17 year old is fairly good (and from what I understand current releases contain whisky that is actually about 19 years of age). I also found the new cask strength and Golf Links (I think 14 years old) to both be decent. If I had to choose, using price vs. finished product, the one bottle I would want to stock is the cask strength.

Now the 1970 I found to be astounding but as mentioned so was the price, as in astoundingly high! This was one of the best if not thee best whisky I have tasted in my short drinking career. I'd shoot somebody for a couple of bottles of this!

I found the Murray McDavid bottle that was out about 2 years ago to be very interesting particularly the Islay influence was more prominent than with the standard bottles I've been through.

The 1973 is good, in the same neighborhood as the 1970 as far as price, but I'm less attracted to sherried drams (which this contained more sherry influence) so I preferred the 1970 by comparison. Matter of personal taste there.

As far as caramel being added, I thought the distillery was chateau bottling with abosolutely NO additives. :?:
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Postby Admiral » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:46 am

I believe Bruichladdich sometimes suffers for being an Islay whisky, as it is often subconsciously and unintentionally unfairly compared with its more popular sisters.

Anyone who loves Ardbeg, Lagavulin, or Laphroaig can easily approach a 'Laddie and say to themselves, "I know this isn't peated, so I shouldn't compare it to the other Islay malts", but the truth is, we get excited when we know we're drinking something from Islay.

So even trying to assess it on its own merits, people probably sometimes don't score it too highly, simply because it didn't give them the same pleasure as the other Islay malts.

(Note - I'm not comparing their flavours or styles, simply the degree of pleasure they give the drinker).

I would be very interested to learn how some of the contributors above would score 'Laddie if it was given to them blindfolded.

As a good example, at a recent tasting event held for some very experienced and knowledgeable palates, I served Glen Keith as the blind. The club had last tasted / examined Glen Keith two years ago, and the average score it received was around 5.9, with fairly unexciting comments.

Served blindfolded two years later, it was applauded, received favourable comments, and scored an average of 7.0. There was much surprise (and embarrassment & indignation) when the identity was revealed!

Only when our preconceived ideas, biases, preferences, and tendencies are put aside in a blind tasting do we get a true indication of our reaction to a malt. I suggest that the 'Laddie offerings would better than the comments listed above if they were tasted blind.

Cheers,
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Postby Stephen » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:33 am

Admiral,I agree with your opinion about blind tasting.

But I have to say "Soft way also has lots of pleasure. "

Dinking Bruichladdich 1970,I experience how a whisky show complex in soft way.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:39 am

Admiral, do you think most malts would score higher if they were tasted blind? If you took away the preset notions of malts then they all should be scored higher when tasted blind? (Our Club tried the Glen Keith a while ago and they quite liked it and scored it in the 70's to 80's). For my part I knew from the start that the Bruichladdich was not a typical Islay so I never compared it to Laphroaig or Ardbeg. I've come to the conclusion that the current Bruichladdich's are not living up to the hype, I've tasted most of the line and nothing has really jumped out at me (except for the price of the 1970 and the 36 year Legacy). I think they're good sound malts but nothing truly wonderful, I have a bottle of the 17 that I keep going back to and it's just a simple dram but ntohing special as the ad boys would have you believe other than it came back from the dead.

However I expect great things from the current owners and have put my money where my mouth is by buying part of a cask with 15 other members of our Club. I'll let you know how it turns out in 2014.
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Postby Stephen » Wed Jun 09, 2004 8:38 am

Lawrence,I believe you will get something in Port Charlotte and you should buy some Octomore.
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Postby Stephen » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:10 am

Are the 1970 and the Legacy too expensive?

Ardbeg 30yo £211.91 £248.99 Inc.
Bowmore 30yo Black Ceramic Decanter £160.85 £189.00 Inc.
Bunnahabhain 1963 21yo £297.87 £350.00 Inc.
Lagavulin 25yo £126.81 £149.00 Inc.
Laphroaig 30yo £187.23 £220.00 Inc.
Talisker 1975 25yo 6 £127.66 £150.00 Inc.

Bruichladdich 1970 £102.13 £120.00 Inc.
Bruichladdich 37yo Legacy Series 2 £143.83 £169.00 Inc.
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Postby Laphroaig » Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:58 am

Great response Admiral. Glen Keith is an excellent example, and frankly I am surprised to hear anyone mention it. I keep a bottle of this in the cabinet BUT figured it's just me and my own weird tastes that finds it worth having around.

Stephen let's not forgot we have not really tasted anything McEwan has crafted as of yet. From what I understand it's been all about selection of what is available and was inherited thus far. I suppose McEwan and Co. get the credit for the good such as the 1970 and thus should get the credit for any thing less than satisfactory but perhaps we are over judging on both ends.

The other odd thing is I guess because of distributor nonsense some of those high end bottles you mentioned are actually cheaper in the US than what you quoted. The Laphroaig 30 for example can be obtained at almost equal the figures you posted as £ - for the same numbers in plain old $'s.
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Postby Stephen » Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:18 pm

Laphroaig wrote:The other odd thing is I guess because of distributor nonsense some of those high end bottles you mentioned are actually cheaper in the US than what you quoted. The Laphroaig 30 for example can be obtained at almost equal the figures you posted as £ - for the same numbers in plain old $'s.


My source is from The Whisky Exchange.

Laphroaig 30yo in their official website is sold as "Friends Price £198.00 " and "Normal Price £220.00 ",so you should buy it in USA,even sweep it clean.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:40 pm

I'm not fond of the new Laddie 10yo. I preferred the old one, frankly. It was more interesting with a tart nose, obvious sea notes and lots of mossy, planty smells. I should have bought more as it was very inexpensive too.

I do enjoy the 15yo Laddie quite a bit though. It is much fuller, more of an islay IMO, quite sweet with some obvious sherry influences and a nice finish. For the price increase over the 10yo it is much better value.

I really enjoy the '89 Fullstrength. Powerful stuff but the high ABV doesn't hit until the very end. Reminds me more of the old 10yo with some tartness, lots of vegetative notes, some sea breeze. It is about the price of the 15yo here and thus the best value IMO.

The 20yo, '70 and '66 are way out of my price range, especially when compared to other whiskies (even the 17yo is very expensive comparitively). Ardbeg is very expensive here too, along with Lagavulin and of course long closed Port Ellen is quite expensive. Inexpensive Islays here are Bowmore, Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain.

Harry
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:17 pm

Stephen, thanks for reminding me, the cask we bought was Port Charlotte and we chose a refill sherry cask. It's curious from the post that the theme seems to be to defend the 'laddie but then state that the only one that really impressed people was the 1970.
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Postby Laphroaig » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:26 pm

Lawrence

I hope I didn't give the impression that I only liked the 1970. The 1970 was borderline divine to me... So yeah I'd go on for days and days about it... But certainly there are others that I think are worth experiencing.

I'd counter your thoughts with isn't it equally curious that the better majority stated in particularly that the 10 is not worth spending too much time discussing? If the topic was the 10 y/o I'd have to agree... The 15 I'd have to think over but wouldn't argue about... The 89 Cask, The MM which I believe was 86, the 1984, the 1973 and 1970 I've tasted all of which were worth taking a good look at.

As Admiral pointed out, are they Islay wallopping punch packers - Not a chance!! If you like other fruit forward drams from other regions then forget Bruichladdich is an island product and compare it to any of those. Blindly I bet as a whole, the brand does quite well when put in that context.

Stephen, I recall a ways back RJ from L- Fyne used an explicative (literally) on the site regarding the ridiculous mark up on the Laphroaig 30. Which he complained was stupid because it was significantly cheaper in the US.

Truth be told last I looked the wholesale price in my state was $166.66 USD and it was not impossible to find it retail on sale for $199.99 USD.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:21 pm

Laphroaig please remember the different tax regimes between the UK and the US. If you can find Laphroaig 30 for under US$200 you're doing very well.

As to my original question about the Bruichladdich I am guilty as to having a title that was designed to catch people's attention and I think it worked. However my original statement that Bruichladdich was not equal to the advertising hype and general hype in the market place is proving true. People are very very keen on the Bruichladdich but it seems don't feel that the line up as a WHOLE is a great whisky but rank it as very good.
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Postby Laphroaig » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:53 pm

Ahh now I won't argue with those last statements. One thing we can be sure of is the jury still is not out on Bruichladdich as a whole. Right now we are experiencing the "selectiveness" of McEwan and crew. The craftsmanship questions and the real hype I suspect you are referring to can not be reasonably answered for several years to come.

As for the tax over that a-way, I'm well aware of that factor. RJ didn't curse the Brits or the tax structure... I'm pretty certain I recall him outright slurring the distributor as the culprit with words like absurd and at least one explicative. There was a sorry (in reference to the explicative) shoved in the statement too...

Undiscounted it's $235.00 at Samswine right now as we speak and unless you are on the special list they are by no means a discount vendor...

The question isn't if I can get bottles under 200.00, that's a foregone conclusion... The real question is what would I do with multiple bottles of 185.00 a pop whisky and more importantly what would I do with my wife in order to pull that one off! :shock:
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Postby Stephen » Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:00 am

As to Bruichladdich 1970,we can refer to the Malt Maniacs,the 1970
gets 95,82,83,89,82,95,75,95,97,84,87 and 76,like our discussion,as if two entirely different viewpoints about the 1970.
http://www.maltmadness.com/matrix.html

I think if you do not think indelibly what the Islay it is,Bruichladdich will give you a new view.

In addition,Port Charlotte will be nice,and if you love Ardbeg and Laphroaig,you will love Port Charlotte,too.
A friend of mine just came back Taiwan form Islay told me the experiencie of drinking Port Charlotte 3yo and Octomore 2yo,and he thinks Port Charlotte will be better than Bruichladdich in some years later.
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