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Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

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Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby steveblack » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:38 pm

Hi I just bought this whisky for a special occasion which is a month away. This was an impulse buy and I was tempted by the ABV and I have enjoyed all the cask strength whiskies that I have bought before. This is also the first time I had not conducted any research prior to buying.

I was just reading about X4 and just discovered it is only 3 years old. What's more there are hardly any positive words.

Anyone had it before? What's your opinion? I also bought a HP 18 and if the X4 is dud, then I will use the HP 18 for the occasion.

Thanks.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Ganga » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:59 pm

I wonder if the +3 indicates 3 years or third release or both. I believe I tried the +1 awhile ago and didn't care for it. A check (http://jewishsinglemaltwhiskysociety.com/?p=1407) shows an interesting review.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby steveblack » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:24 am

Thanks Ganga for the thoughts and the link. I am not feeling good about the purchase even after reading that not so bad review.... :?

So the best I can do is to stop the wait and try the bottle.

The HP 18 gets the nod for the occasion. 8)
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Ganga » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:30 pm

Probably a good call. And hey, if a small sample of the Laddie seems good to you the rest of the bottle can always be saved to share at the special occasion!
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:30 pm

It's not a bad whisky at all. Well made, but it is different. When i find my notes i'll post them up.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:42 pm

N: Initially vanilla, followed by strong barley. The nose is very pleasant with plenty of citrus - mainly lemon.
T: Spicy and hot. Somehow temperamental, quite different and not expected. Some plastic notes.
F: Slightly plastic again, good length though.

Comment: The finish is the weak link, especially after the inviting nose. It's ok, but only purchase if your curious about a quadruple distilled whisky [and yes '+3' refers to age].



I don't think this is a cask strength whisky. iirc Bruichladdich bowed to pressure and reduced with water prior to bottling. I don't remember what %age the spirit was after being distilled 4 times either.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby steveblack » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:09 am

Thanks bredman, that is reassuring :)

Anyway have decided to try this out during the weekend. Will post how this goes.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:14 am

I thought i'd read up on what JM thinks of it, he scores it 86, and notes the "huge barley of eye-watering intensity".

Good luck with it.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Klondike » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:38 am

I believe it was distilled to something like 92% ABV from the quadruple distillation. I'm a bit surprised to read, that it should have such a prominent barley character, as usually a quadruple distillation would remove most of the flavour components (i.e. the pure newmake should resemble vodka basically)... However, I haven't tried it so I guess I'll have to give it a go :D
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Dibs » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:25 pm

I tried this before the pc6 (which I find to be vastly superior) and found it to be rocket fuel.It took my breath away initially but after the first couple of large ones it became very pleasant and the rest of the night became a blur.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:16 pm

Klondike wrote:I believe it was distilled to something like 92% ABV

Yeah that sounds about right. I remember it as 90%. I note it now retails at £50-60 these days, which is a bit much.

Aged for 3 years in a 50/50 mix of new oak and bourbon barrels. This is the first quad-distilled whisky in Scotland for centuries. It was in 1695 when Martin Martin, explorer of the west of Scotland, wrote in his diary: "Their plenty of corn was such, as disposed the natives to brew several sorts of liquors, as common usquebaugh, another called trestarig, three times distilled, which is strong and hot; a third sort is four times distilled, and this by the natives is called usquebaugh-baul, which at first taste affects all the members of the body: two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; and if any man exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life."
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Klondike » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:08 pm

steveblack wrote:I was just reading about X4 and just discovered it is only 3 years old.


bredman wrote:...Aged for 3 years in a 50/50 mix of new oak and bourbon barrels...


I believe it is a necessity for such a strong whisky not to be aged for too long, as a liquor of ~90-92% ABV will penetrate the wood much deeper than one at the usual ~63,5% and thus much faster take a high degree of oak influence... If you age it for, say twelve years, it would become a bitter, undrinkable mess... I think it is very clever to bottle it as fast as possible
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:38 pm

Malt whisky has two reductions. Prior to casking and prior to bottling. However Bruichladdich don't reduce prior to casking, they cask at 70% generally ("straight from the still"). In the case of X4+3, i'm not sure what the %age is at casking. I'd be surprised if they casked it at 90% though.
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby corbuso » Wed May 04, 2011 1:36 pm

Personally, I did not liked it. It tasted like the spirit was dissolving the wood of the cask.
An extreme whisky.
Depending on the type of occasion you have in mind, the HP 18 would be a safer choice.

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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Wed May 04, 2011 9:33 pm

Oh...

Then i'm surprised. :|
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby bredman » Thu May 05, 2011 5:45 pm

Nick, I'm surprised they didn't reduce prior to casking. Have we crossed wires?
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Spirit of Islay » Thu May 05, 2011 9:42 pm

Haven't had the +3 but have tried the X4 in various guises and at various strengths (the +1 was 65.4% and some of them at Feis Ile Tastings were 80%+ ) and have always enjoyed them , i've always found them to be "Condensed" Laddie in taste and nose .
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Re: Bruichladdich X4 +3 - anyone tried it?

Postby Klondike » Thu May 05, 2011 11:07 pm

bredman wrote:Malt whisky has two reductions. Prior to casking and prior to bottling. However Bruichladdich don't reduce prior to casking, they cask at 70% generally ("straight from the still"). In the case of X4+3, i'm not sure what the %age is at casking. I'd be surprised if they casked it at 90% though.


I'm fairly sure they casked it at full strength, "straight from the still" as you say, though I didn't ask Mr. McEwan directly and don't remember where i heard it... I'm well aware, that usually the distilleries water the newmake down to 63,5% before they cask it... Anyway, quite an unusual breed this X4...
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