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Single malt or vatting or..?

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Single malt or vatting or..?

Postby Nikwik » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:12 am

bernstein wrote:Mmmm, not so sure about this, Nikwik and Admiral. I guess Nick makes a valid point here after all.

All OBs – except of course SCs - are vattings of different casks (e.g. sherry, bourbon, etc.) but produced following strict and always similar recipes concerning ppm, temperature of distillation, length of the middlecut etc. at the same distillery. So Macallan’s spirit should always be the same, whether it is destined for bourbon or for sherry-casks. This is what the talk about a specific distillery-character is all about, isn’t it? And that should be a single malt by definition – e.g. “rule of the spirit”. (I know, I know, the rules of the SMWS aren't that specific. I may be completely wrong about this, but isn't that exactly the practice and ambition at each distillery? Please feel free to correct me here, if I got it wrong!)

Producing Port Charlotte, Octomore, Ledaig, Craiglodge, Glen Douglas, Inchmurrin, Inchmoan, Croftengea, Longrow, Hazelburn etc. is led by expressingly different recipes, so even if they come from the same still, they`re effectively different products. At Loch Lomond distillery they can actually modify their stills to reach the whole variety of different malts! (BTW – is Loch Lomond Single Malt really a vatting of those different malts? I confess, I haven’t thought about that.)

Is a vatting of those products even if they come from the same distillery (e.g. 3D) really a “classic” single malt? So you could IMO very well ask, whether this is still within the “spirit of the rules” or not.

Shouldn't we open up a new thread about this?


I´ve heard somewhere that at about 60 % of the taste comes from the wood. After having attended the "Mysteries of Wood"-MC at Whisky Live and tasted two Glenrothes - one from european and one from spanish oak - I am quite convinced if not about the percentage than that at least that the wood is a very important key factor.

With this in mind it seems a bit strange were we to consider a vatting of two receipes nothing but a vatting but a vatting of sherry- and bourbon casks a single malt... :?
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Postby lambda » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:47 am

Agreed. I would say the conclusion is then that "single malt" is not a very useful term. Maybe you could define it as a malt made in the same production line (same make, same wood, same maturation), but a whole lot of malts that we consider single malts would not be "single" anymore then.

I guess the reason that this term exists, is us, the customer. Somehow many think that a single malt is "better" than a vatted malt.
Maybe the marketing people should think of some more descriptive terms, e.g. "single make", "single wood" (we already have vintage/"single year"), but how would you name a whisky made from a single batch of malt? :roll:
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Postby bernstein » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:54 am

lambda wrote:I guess the reason that this term exists, is us, the customer. Somehow many think that a single malt is "better" than a vatted malt.


Quite so, lambda! Of course you're right about the wood-factor, Nikwik. I should've made myself clearer about that than I've done. Sorry!

We should bear in mind that raw-spirit by definition has to mature at least three years in wood to become whisky. The longer it has a chance to do so, the more its influence will create the specific flavour profile of that particular cask. And the vatting/non-vatting of those matured whiskies will lead to a specific single malt. The raw-spirit is nothing but the raw spirit, but it is the very beginning and the basis for what will mature hopefully to a good malt. And different raw-spirits will mature to different malts.

This is probably the same as with a newborn baby and a grown-up. Try to decide, what's predisposition and what's cultural influence looking at the forming of a personality.

Old philosophical question, by the way :wink: .
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Postby hpulley » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:59 am

Single pot distillation!

Seriously, though some will list that a bottling is from only sherry casks or only bourbon casks the rules there are not strict.

Only bottlings with cask numbers really give you the whole story. Coming from the same distillery is useful, IMO, as it means there isn't some cheap blend filler malt being used for most of the content. In truth though, even the age is misleading as a 10yo can contain malt of different ages (as long as youngest is 10yo), different vintages, different casks, different warehouses, possibly from different stills since some distilleries have standard, lomond and other types, etc.

The distillery wants the customer to buy their malt for ever and ever, in large quantities. If they think the customer knows the taste and colour then they may try to keep the taste the same but if they run out of stock, they may be tempted to vatt it like Diageo/Cardhu. To most business people, the brand is more important than the product. A poorly marketed product will not sell regardless of the contents but a well marketed bottle of swill can make a lot of money.

For all the marketing about traditional methods, there seems to be very little old tradition left. There are new traditions, like selling distilleries to multinational corporations...

Harry
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Aug 30, 2005 12:20 pm

Hi there,

the definition of a single malt is wide and narrow. It is narrow in the sense that it defines a single malt to be the product of one distillery. Aging this product and vatting it together to create a certain style is covered by this definition.

It is easy if a distillery produces just one whisky.

The definition is wide in the cases of Springbank, Loch Lomond, Bruichladdich now. If the definition applies, a vatting of Port Charlotte, Bruichladdich and Octomore would be a single malt if they are all produced with the same equipment of one distillery alone. That goes against our grain, but the definition covers that.

Mostowie and Glencraig, Dunglas and others that could be named were made by known distilleries but with special equipment, especially with different pot stills or Loch Lomond stills (which, by the way did neither give the name to Loch Lomond Distillery nor are they used there. LL uses rectifiers on top of the pot stills).

Greetings
kallaskander

PS And what do we say if a distillery uses extremely different peat levels, so different they constitute a distinctive new malt? Where would we draw a line and how fine would that be?
Last edited by kallaskander on Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:10 pm

PS And what do we say if a distillery uses extremely different peat levels, so different they constitute a distinctive new malt? Where would we draw a line and how fine would that be?


But this is precisely what is happening at Bruichladdich.

On one day, they distill a spirit with malt that was peated to 3ppm, and they will market it as Bruichladdich.

On the next day, they will distill a spirit with malt that was peated to 40ppm, and they will market it as Port Charlotte.

On the third day, they will distill a spirit with malt that was peated to 80ppm, and they will market it as Octomore.

In truth, it really doesn't matter what peating level they use, or what badge they give it. It is all single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery, and that is what counts.

No one gets upset when a distillery suddenly brings out a variation on their standard malt. Take Ardbeg, for instance. They had some whisky which was made with lightly peated malt. They badged it "Ardbeg Kildalton", simply to signify that it wasn't the usual house style.

Perhaps we're splitting hairs, but I don't see much difference between Ardbeg doing that and Bruichladdich badging their differently peated malt "Port Charlotte".

And - as has already been pointed out - the situation is no different at Tobermory. The lightly peated whisky gets badged "Tobermory", whilst the heavily peated whisky gets badged "Ledaig". They are both single malts from the Tobermory distillery, and that's all that matters to me! :)

This thread more-or-less came about due to a discussion of the validity of Bruichladdich and their 3D bottling which contained three different "malts". In truth, the vatting simply contains three different styles of whiskies that were peated to three different levels, which the Bruichladdich distillery choose to make. If they choose to call the vatting "Bruichladdich 3D", I, for one, do not believe they are bending, much less breaking, any rules.

Cheers,
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Postby lambda » Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:58 pm

Ah, but I don't think that anyone meant to say that one distillery shouldn't produce more than one "type of" malt. It's very hard to object to the name "Bruichladdich 3D", because it is of course made by one distillery.

I also wouldn't think they are breaking the rules, but it does the raise the question how meaningful the term 'single malt' is if the vatting of two completely distinct production lines (different malt, water, stills, wood, warehouse, etc), but under the same roof, can still be called a single malt. We're used to thinking that single malt can consist of malt of different age and wood finish for example. However, the example of bruichladdich 3d raises the question where it ends if even the peat level doesn't have to be remotely the same in its components.
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:12 pm

Hi there,

Admiral, I am with you. I do not see that Bruichladdich does make three different whiskies as long as they use their usual wash and spirit stills. The three peat levels of the Bruichladdich do not change the fact that they all are Bruichladdichs.
Different names are not really neccessary but here is marketing again. An example which has not been mentioned yet is the Benriach Curiositas respectively it´s Signatory pendant "Heavily Peated". It is a Benriach, malted, peated, distilled, filled into barrels and matured there with the usual machinery.
What they could do now is to create a "Not So Curiositas", a "Even Less So Curiositas" and of course the well needed "Only A Little Bit Curiositas" by just making vattings with differing parts of the peated and the usual malt they make.
Oh, and I almost forgot, they make the "Not At All Curiositas" and dare to name it "Benriach"! :lol:

Greetings
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Postby Nikwik » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:29 pm

My humble opinion is that we humans tend to concentrate on terms which perhaps is not completely relevant. As I read somewhere in a book about taoism, we tend to want to categorize if the bird was a Larus canus or a Larus ridibundus rather than just to enjoy the beautiful song...

Yes, I´m feeling philosophical this afternoon... :D
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Postby bernstein » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:32 pm

lambda wrote:I also wouldn't think they are breaking the rules, but it does the raise the question how meaningful the term 'single malt' is if the vatting of two completely distinct production lines (different malt, water, stills, wood, warehouse, etc), but under the same roof, can still be called a single malt.

Yes, nobody wants to dramatize anything here. Folks at Bruichladdich are doing a good job and if they choose to distill three or more different malts or create a vatted '3D' it's fine with me. But lambda points to the weak side of it. The term 'single malt' isn't as precise as some (including me) would like to have it. It just says it's malt produced under one roof - considering the creativity of some master distillers and blenders out there this is probably indeed not very significant.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:33 pm

However, the example of bruichladdich 3d raises the question where it ends if even the peat level doesn't have to be remotely the same in its components.


I don't see this as being a dilemma. Who said that peat had to be part of the equation?

The equation is this: Single malt whisky is made from malted barley, yeast, and water.

Whether, and how much, the distillery chooses to peat the malt is a somewhat irrelevant part of the equation.

Consider this: Would you be raising the same issue if the distillery used soft water some of the time, and then made whisky with hard water? Would you raise the same issue if the distillery used optic barley for one batch, then used chariot for the next batch? These variables and parameters do not concern you, so why should the peating level?

Cheers,
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:51 pm

Admiral, as usual, has distilled the question down to its essential parts and given a concise answer.

I look at the whiskies thus;

Ardbeg Kildalton
Aberlour a'bunadh
Benriach Curiositas
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte
Bruichladdich Octomore

The product of a single distillery is a single malt regardless of the peating level and the nickname or marketing name. I don't think the queston would have been asked if they had called their whisky Bruichladdich Mildly peated, Bruichladdich Medium peated and Bruichladdich Heavily peated.

All they have done is given the peating levels nicknames.
Last edited by Lawrence on Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bernstein » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:02 pm

Admiral wrote:Consider this: Would you be raising the same issue if the distillery used soft water some of the time, and then made whisky with hard water? Would you raise the same issue if the distillery used optic barley for one batch, then used chariot for the next batch?

:D Yes, I would!

The water part is, as far as I know, rather hypothetical, because the water sources of each distillery is not that variable. Some distilleries stress the quality and origin of their water though (Dalwhinnie, Glenmorangie). And on barley - well, it's not that long ago that Macallan indeed claimed 'optic' as their one and only...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:10 pm

Lawrence wrote:I don't think the queston would have been asked if they had called their whisky Bruichladdich Mildly peated, Bruichladdich Medium peated and Bruichladdich Heavily peated.


But the point is, they didn't. On the one hand, they claim each distillation as a separate, unique, special, remarkable whisky and market it as a separate product. Then, when it suits them, they claim that they are all the same, so they can be blended into a single malt. Other justifications that Springbank and Loch Lomond could do the same is also irrelevant - they don't.

I would readily acknowledge that the rules allow 3D to be called a single malt but I think that it because, when the rules were set, distillers were less "creative" and the present situation was not envisaged. Now the issue has been brought to a head, I would argue that the rules need changing or the term "single malt" will become irrevocably tainted.

Incidentally, I have seen pictures of Bruichladdich Ardbeg too - I have no idea what is going on there. :?
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Postby hpulley » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:23 pm

Re: Bruichladdich Ardbeg. Murray & McDavid, one of the owners of Bruichladdich is an IB. I've seen some stuff bottled not as M&McD lately, but as Bruichladdich. There are no claims that it was distilled there but that brand name, more recognizable than M&McD, is being used it seems.

Our database is full of it here. Search the LCBO database for Bruichladdich and you find Bruichladdich Macallan, Bruichladdich Highland Park, et al.

Harry
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:33 pm

I have just Googled a picture which was labelled as Murray McDavid, but had the Bruichladdich website address and was signed Jim McEwan, Master Distiller (who, to the best of my knowledge, is not employed by Ardbeg). The bottle is also labelled "Valinch", which I think is a brand name from Bruichladdich. It sounds to me like Bruichladdich are trying to claim authorship.

I am sure I have seen the stuff sold with a Bruichladdich label too, but could be wrong.
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Postby Tom » Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:16 pm

I dont see what all the fuzz is about. As a matter of fact, I think we should be gratefull distilleries use different names for their malts that taste significantly different then their standard ones.

There is no law that enforces Tobermory to call their peated version Ledaig, they could have called it tobermory 10+ or something. Same goes for Bruichladdich, they make a whisky now that tastes different then the one before, and they call it different, we should be thankfull.The 3D, Port Charlotte and Octomore will undoubtebly taste different to eachother, so they give it different names, this makes it easy for us customers to recognize them.
This line of marketing is for me personally much more accepteble then changing the taste of the malt and pretending its the same thing.(Laphroaig 10, Laphroaig CS, Talisker 10...)

A single malt is a spirit distilled in a single distillery, we all know that, The vatting happens to give us consistency, and if any distillery choses to experiment and produce something significantly different then before, then they "should" say so on the label, but they dont have to. By my knowledge the most state so on the label by giving it a different name. This whole thing would be far worse if they didnt. The point here is the taste at the end. If it tastes different, they call it different. I dont think they should change labels because they use a different production process if the taste doesnt change so drastically.
All in all, I dont see the problem.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:04 pm

I think the problem is that some people don't recognize that a legal definition is just that, and not necessarily the best terminology for what we enthusiasts want to talk about. Case in point: Someone above said it's not whisky until it has been in the barrel for three years. Well, then, what the hell is it? That's a legal definition--the stuff cannot legally be sold as whisky. If I were to tell you that I'd sampled two-year-old whisky, or new make whisky, you might, Mr Picky-like, point out that what I had was not legally whisky, or you might quite sensibly accept what I said, with knowledge of that particualr legalism as background. Likewise, some folks here are all bent out of shape at the prospect of the term 'single malt' being somehow tainted. As Tom said above, single malt is the output of one distillery, period, end of story. Any other supposed restriction is somebody else's delusion.

The shelves are full of single malts, single barrels, vintages, NAS's, etc. etc. We all want to get as much information about any one of these as we can, but generally we don't get a lot. Barley variety, wood regime, chillfiltering, coloring, and many other things that we would like to know about, distilleries normally don't tell us. Bruichladdich tell us far more than most, and they should be lauded for that. If what they tell you doesn't match your expectations, that's your problem.
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Postby bernstein » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:34 pm

Oijoijoijoijoi - I hate it when that happens :wink: .
Couldn't we just - as Nikwik wisely advised - listen and enjoy the bird's beautiful song?

Irenic attempt.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:44 pm

There seems to have been a lot of hot air expelled over nothing new here , we've all known for years that distilleries have put out peated / none peated versions of their malt under different names , is it just because Bruichladdich is involved certain people are getting carried away ?
I take it this is the other thing getting at Nick ?
Image
If so , it was a festival bottling , a Murray McDavid Bloodtub valinch . Basically it was from Murray McDavid stock (a 1991 Ardbeg Cask ), it was transfered to a Bloodtub for a short period then sold at the festival . There was also a 1993 Caol ila , a 1988 Laphroaig and a 1993 Cooley . They seemed fairly popular alongside the 2 "Normal" Valinches for the festival , something slightly different even if a few people didn't catch on to the fact that they'd been transfered from full size casks to the valinches !!!!

It's a shame the distilleries owned by the larger groups arn't as up front as Bruichladdich , have you ever heard a M.B. marketing guy arguing the fact that his whisky doesn't contain Caramel and then not knowing which way to turn when someone points out that on the back of the bottle it says it does in german ! you know who you are .......
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:14 am

I can't quite get the gist of this thread, all companies do it. A Ford, is a Ford, is a Ford - no matter what the model. It's the same with whisky.

Long may they continue to give us different variations on the same theme.

Cheers

Paul
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:47 am

The gist of the thread is "If Bruichladdich does it, it must be wrong."
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Postby Admiral » Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:28 am

Easy, Tattie :wink: You & Nick had that conversation already. :D
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Postby lambda » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:44 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:The gist of the thread is "If Bruichladdich does it, it must be wrong."


Wrong? I don't think there's anything wrong with a vatted malt. ;) Personally, I like the 3D, second edition and the infinity. I'm getting the feeling people are reading much more into it than what has been said in this thread (I think I am missing something).
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:52 pm

Lambda - I'm afraid there is a history here. I am generally of the impression that Bruichladdich is innovating in an unhelpful direction. Mr Tattiehead is quite fond of their products.
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Postby bernstein » Wed Aug 31, 2005 1:56 pm

lambda wrote:I'm getting the feeling people are reading much more into it than what has been said in this thread (I think I am missing something).

Yep - I think I'm missing something here as well, but nevermind, maybe it's better to call this case closed and move on. Live's to short anyway, or as Horace put it:
Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.
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Postby bamber » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:08 pm

In the end Bruichladdich may shoot themselves in the foot with their marketing strategy. IMO Bruichladdich is ok to drink and probably sits right in the middle of my distillery ratings but I for one do not feel the slightest inclination to buy one of their special ediitons.

Less is more. When Ardbeg brought out their very young we were all tripping over each other to have a dram, same with the Laphroaig quartercask. I think they would be better served by improving their 10yo, having it available in supermarkets and reducing its price.

Time will tell and I'll buy a bottle of their Octomore when it comes out, but until then those funny bottles will continue to be passed up for cheaper better whisky.
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Postby robertk » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:12 pm

bamber: Then I daresay you're missing out on something!

I have yet to try something from Bruichladdich that would fall below high quality whisky (ok, I haven't tried Rocks yet ;)). The 10, 12, 15, 17, 20 1st & 2nd, 73, 3D 1st & 2nd, Infinity, Links, Legacy etc. These are all to me ranking from good to awesome. Why in the name of the holy dram would anyone want them to release less? Are they forcing anyone to buy their products or what's going on?

I love diversity and creativity, and "tradition" whatever that is, is hugely overrated and subjective as far as I'm concerned. If someone releases something which isn't up to par, then for the love of all that is good, dont buy it! But don't bash it here and claim that your taste is superior and that anyone who has another opinion is wrong. (Not pointed at you bamber).

I also fail to see what all this crap throwing is about... taste is different, some (most) love Ardbeg and some hate them (true!). There are now 604 different Ardbegs out there according to the Ardbeg-database site. Is that wrong? Hell no, give me another 600 bottlings and noone is happier than me. Should we bash Ardbeg too for releasing too much to us? *sigh*

Should we as an alternative instead praise the way some other distilleries sell their products? A 12, an 18 and if you're lucky an occasional 25yo. And never anything else, whoa, great fun? Not! Nothing wrong with that I presume but they sure dont offer much in the way of new experiences which atleast I think is a vital part of this hobby.

Oh well, not much of a point in this message I guess.

/r
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Postby bamber » Wed Aug 31, 2005 3:28 pm

I've only had the 10,15 and 17 (mini), as far as I remember. Whilst I enjoyoyed the 15yo, the 10yo didn't inspire me at all and it took me over a year to finish the bottle (bear in mind I drink well over a bottle a week).

To me the youngest release is the key to a distillery. Ardbeg 10yo, Laphroaig 10yo, Glenmorangie 10yo, Macallan 10yo, Talisker 10yo. Classic names and classic whiskies IMO. They made me think, wow I really want to explore more. Laddie just did not do this for me.

Whisky that *I personally* do not really rate combined with marketing that grates on me and a plethora of other choices mean that Laddie is way down the list. It's well made whisky for sure, but when I have to fork out £35 for NAS peated malt, with so much else around it is just not going to happen. Uigeadail vs. 3d. Glenfarclas 21yo vs. Laddie 15yo. It's a no brainer.

BTW - I consider my opinion to be *less* valuable than many of the posters her. Nevertheless, it is my opinion and I think anyone reading this thread, when deciding what to buy should get a diverse set of opinions.

Never forget. It's whisky. It's all good ;)
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Postby hpulley » Wed Aug 31, 2005 4:08 pm

I used to dislike the new 10yo but a recent bottling of it has changed my mind (either it's changed or I have). Now if only it and Ardbeg 10yo weren't so darned expensive here! $75 for a 10yo is a bit much (yes, I'm cheap).

I also enjoy the 15yo and Fullstrength 13yo Laddies. They're a bit more expensive than the 10yo but seem like a better deal somehow.

I have no problem with their whisky in general, I just question some of the finishing and marketing techniques they've used recently which has not enhanced their main whisky products, IMO.

Harry
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Postby Admiral » Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:53 am

I have yet to try something from Bruichladdich that would fall below high quality whisky (ok, I haven't tried Rocks yet ). The 10, 12, 15, 17, 20 1st & 2nd, 73, 3D 1st & 2nd, Infinity, Links, Legacy etc. These are all to me ranking from good to awesome.


And therein lies the rub....this is all subjective.

I'm with Bamber.....I've tried the 10, the 15, and the 17, and I was very underwhelmed. They weren't bad whiskies....I just don't think they had much flavour.

And cost is the other important factor. Here in Australia, the Laddie bottlings are bloody expensive - the 10 year old alone is over $100!! That's 2.4 on the JWB scale! :D For $100, my money is better spent elsewhere.

But each to their own....if you like it, drink it, and help keep the distillery in business! :)

Cheers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:43 am

I have absolutely no argument with anyone who says he doesn't like Bruichladdich, or any other whisky. If Bruichladdich is "way down your list", that's your business. And obviously, if you don't like Bruichladdich, you won't be interested in the plethora of limited releases. Hey, I like the stuff, but I don't make a point of trying to get a bottle of everything they release; I can't do it physically or fiscally, and anyway, there are plenty of other whiskies out there that I want to buy. I just don't worry about it, and I can't for the life of me understand why anyone who isn't interested in their whisky would want to worry about it. Nick, the thing that bothers me is that you seem to go out of your way to find fault with them, when they ought to be simply irrelevant to you. And when you imply that those of us who like the stuff are nothing but dupes of an aggressive marketing campaign, that's just a bit insulting. I respect your right to your opinion--indeed, when you are talking about anything other than Bruichladdich, I find your remarks interesting and insightful--but I demand the same.

Let me put it this way--I have remarked on a few occasions here that I think that JMR's marketing amounts to "Whisky For Dummies", and on some other occasions that I think Macallan is grossly overrated. But I respect that others disagree, and I don't carry on a vendetta against those products; when they are mentioned, I read what is said, and go on to the next thing. The appeal of bourbon eludes me entirely, but I don't go on and on about how bourbon drinkers are deluded. I accept that others have a different experience; I read their comments out of intellectual curiosity, or I don't. But I never tell them they're wrong.

I can understand that Bruichladdich's modus operandi rubs some people the wrong way. I've mentioned before that I heard a distillery manager on Islay make some oblique but pointed comments about them, and I got where he was coming from. What I can't understand is how anyone who cares about whisky cannot at least respect the fact that Bruichladdich is now independently owned by people who care about whisky first and foremost. Perhaps if there were eighty-five or ninety independent distilleries in Scotland, you'd like the way forty of them did things, or fifty or sixty. But you'd respect the right of each of them to make their own way. It seems to me that's little enough to ask in the case of Bruichladdich. I could understand the above-mentioned distillery manager's resentment of the Golden Boys at Bruichladdich; but I'd bet donairs to donuts he was thinking "If only I were in their position, this is what I'd do...."

Nick, I hope we can continue to discuss, argue, arm-wrestle, or whatever, in a spirit of respect. You get under my skin sometimes--I'm sure it goes both ways--and I always feel bad after getting on your case. But I honestly feel that your antipathy toward Bruichladdich makes you blind to the opinions of others. Really, it's enough to say "I don't get it" and move on. But in any case, let us resolve not to let our differences overshadow our similarities. We both love whisky, and that's what counts.
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Postby Frodo » Fri Sep 02, 2005 2:16 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Really, it's enough to say "I don't get it" and move on.


Funny for me, but I'm having a hard time doing that with Bunnahabain. Too many people whose opinions I repect speak highly of the stuff. I'm desperatly flailing around trying to "get it", and I try new expressions when I can, but I always end up feeling lost. :(

With Bruichladdich, "getting it" is easier for me to do. I've tried the 10, 15, 17, 20, 1966, 1970, and 1793...wait a minute :oops: (1973). I think I "get" why someone would like it - soft dram, faint maritime flavours, not a lot of these kinds of malts around. Subtle. The 1970 or '73 (I forget which) was the only one that wowed me. While I won't begrudge anyone buying the stuff, I am suprised that others would (and do) think the dram a good value. And I have heard that the cost of the 'laddich bottlings are similarly high everywhere. Considering what I've liked though (10yr Jura, Pike Creek :shock: ) perhaps it's my taste buds that should be questioned.

Frodo
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:06 am

Frodo, I think we all agree that 'Laddies are relatively high-priced, and in that sense are not the best values. But many of us accept that this is in part the price to be paid for independent ownership. One is willing to make allowance for it, or one is not. Personally, I feel that there are sometimes intangible values to be considered, and I have no qualms about supporting an enterprise like Bruichladdich. I wish there were more of them. But certainly such factors would be irrelevant to many people, and that is a judgment for each to make for himself.
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Postby robertk » Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:43 am

Regarding the laddie-pricing I can't say I've found them more expensive than any others around really.

Right now there's their 12yo for around €32 at Weinquelle and not long ago I bought the XVII from Scotland at around €55. The 3d's also around €38 and the Rocks is yours for €27.95.. bought the Ardbeg 73 yesterday for £199, now that's a bit pricey =].

I think one "problem" with the Bruichladdich taste might be that it's so subtle. People may expect more of a hit in the face from an Islaywhisky and is thus taken aback somewhat.. well, what do I know?

regards, Robert
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