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Twenty twenty vision

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Twenty twenty vision

Postby Sally Toms » Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:02 pm

Following ‘Flirtation’, Bruichladdich’s so-called ‘pink’ whisky – another head-turning 20 year old dram has been released.

It is the third in a series. The first, called Twenty, from the 1981 vintage, was released in 2001. Three years later the second edition, Flirtation, was released from the 1984 vintage. Both whiskies were extremely popular and quickly ran out.

The third edition is nick-named ‘Islands’ and has been similarly matured in American oak barrels for 20 years on Islay. The whisky was decanted into Madeira hogsheads that previously contained rich Malmsey wine to complete its journey.

Managing director Mark Reynier commented: “This is no clumsy, marketing-led ‘finish’; we don’t even refer to it on the label. It is a subtle refinement obtained from closely understanding both the whisky and the wood.”

The result is a dark, alluring malt with intensely rich, raisins, black cherries, burnt orange and fruit cake flavours that linger.
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Re: Twenty twenty vision

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:00 pm

Sally Toms wrote:Managing director Mark Reynier commented: “This is no clumsy, marketing-led ‘finish’; we don’t even refer to it on the label. It is a subtle refinement obtained from closely understanding both the whisky and the wood.”


So there!
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Postby posterboy » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:41 pm

I tasted this at WhiskyFest NY. I thought it was the best whisky at the event.
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Postby kallaskander » Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:18 am

Hi there,

I picked up Jim McEwan from Frankfurt Airport when he arrived in Germany from USA to do some tastings a fortnight ago. During the tasting I attended and on the trip from Frankfurt back to our shop I talked to him about Bruichladdich and Murray McDavid and what they are doing there. I mentioned that they are not only making friends. Jim answered that he will meet anybody in the ring that tells him he does something forbidden or wrong with his whiskies.
During that tasting with Jim I had the opportunity to try some Laddies and three Murray McDavid bottlings of Bowmore 1991, Springbank 1996 and Glen Garioch 1993. The Laddies were 15 year second edition, Yellow Submarine, 20 years second edition "Flirtation", Infinity, Moine Mhor.
Meanwhile I have seen some more new bottlings by Murray McDavid. My impression is, that most of the Laddies and most of the MD bottlings are reddish to pink in colour. As to the ACE additional cask enhancement concept I must say I find this notion more fitting than a outright finishing.
As to the results, well you win some, you lose some. Some whiskies are enhanced others I found not to my liking. That is the same as with wine finishings and me.
I do not want to be disrespectful or make derregatory remarks but the fininshing mania and the ACE reminds me of my cooking. It is like seasoning the malts. As I always say, I do not like wine finishings and it seems I do not like all the ACEs. The decission making goes on.

Greetings
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Postby corbuso » Wed Nov 30, 2005 11:15 am

kallaskander wrote:Hi there,

I mentioned that they are not only making friends. Jim answered that he will meet anybody in the ring that tells him he does something forbidden or wrong with his whiskies.
During that tasting with Jim I had the opportunity to try some Laddies and three Murray McDavid bottlings of Bowmore 1991, Springbank 1996 and Glen Garioch 1993. The Laddies were 15 year second edition, Yellow Submarine, 20 years second edition "Flirtation", Infinity, Moine Mhor.

I do not want to be disrespectful or make derregatory remarks but the fininshing mania and the ACE reminds me of my cooking. It is like seasoning the malts. As I always say, I do not like wine finishings and it seems I do not like all the ACEs. The decission making goes on.

Greetings
kallaskander


Hi Kallaskander,
Your comment is interesting.
-Regarding the Murray McDavid, I can only agree with you. They have some very excellent whiskies (I tried recently the mission Glen Scotia 1974 and was postively suprised).

- For the Laddie, they have some very good stuff and some ACEs are good and some less. It is mainly a matter of taste.

-To Jim answer, he can do what he wants, but he also has to defend his business. He does nothing forbidden, but the way he is producing his whisky since 2001 can (and is ) be criticized.

PS: By the way, what do you think of the Moine Mhor?

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:37 pm

I have noted Jim McEwan's offer to beat me up. It speaks volumes.

I want to like Bruichladdich whisky, but at the moment I don't. I find the product basically bland. Attempts to flavour it by mixing it with heavily peated whisky or putting it in wine casks have not, IMO, created balanced whiskies.

I have a wider issue, not confined to Bruichladdich, with the concept of finishing. I find it akin to adding flavouring - and if finishing for only a few hours can produce a noticable effect, I think the argument that it is about maturation in wood over the years is exposed as a sham. At the moment, there is a trend to find ever more exotic sounding casks that I can't believe are selected for the beneficial effects they will have, but rather to add mystique in spite of the damage that they do to a whisky. These days, it seems almost de rigeur for a new whisky to have a finish of some kind. To me, it is akin to the adding a twist of orange or lime that dear Shona (bless) would have us enjoy.

The marketing of the finishes can then be taken to extremes. At the Whisky Fringe, the people manning the Bruichladdich stall were describing the flavours of their products only in terms of the finish and the drink that had occupied the casks prior to the whisky. One would be soft, sweet, vanilla flavoured; another would be fruity, sharp, slightly acidic but light and fragrant. I don't hold this up as the only example - I was in Tullibardine Distillery the other week, where they were handing out tasters of weird finish whiskies (whose names I forget). The finishes were the ones being promoted, not the rather fine 1986 or 1998.

I also wonder about the attempts to create the most heavily peated whisky in the world, ever. This seems to me to be a combination of a publicity stunt and an attempt to shift units to people who will go for anything extreme. Presumably, though, another distillery (Mannochmore, perhaps) might come along and just double the peat all over again and create an even peatier dram.

I also wonder at the trend of selling every whisky as a unique, not to be missed, special limited edition. This claims attention from the press and money from punters that I would like to have seen shared around a little. It also fuels the demand for the silly finishes, as each bottling has to be made demontrably different and novel.

The selling of "futures" is not unique to Bruichladdich, and does provide revenue up front. But I wonder whether people who buy them really appreciate the true costs of the product after tax, bottling and delivery or are aware of the hit-and-miss nature of single cask whiskies. Most single casks on the market are selected post maturation because they turned out well - the rest are mixed into blends or with mixed with other casks to create OB single malts. Buying the cask up front is a huge risk.

In terms of whether Bruichladdich or MMD are stepping outside the rules, who knows? I am not familiar enough with the rules. But they have packaged other distilleries whiskies in Bruichladdich tubes. They are marketing Speyside whiskies as being matured on Islay and mixed with Islay water. If this is not outside the rules, then it ought to be.

I know others like Bruichladdich's products - and fair play to them. My worry, though, is that they are fueling a general trend in the whisky world to create novelty regardless of whether it represents an improvement.
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Postby karlejnar » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:54 pm

Nick Brown wrote:In terms of whether Bruichladdich or MMD are stepping outside the rules, who knows? I am not familiar enough with the rules. But they have packaged other distilleries whiskies in Bruichladdich tubes. They are marketing Speyside whiskies as being matured on Islay and mixed with Islay water. If this is not outside the rules, then it ought to be.


First of all let me stress that I too am not fond of wine finishes or enhancements either.

What caught my eyes was the quoted paragraph.
Nick, which whiskies from other distilleries are presented in a 'Laddie' tube?
As to marketing whiskies from the mainland been matured on Islay and mixed with Islay (spring) water, I don't think that's any worse than Islay whiskies being matured on the mainland and mixed with mainland water. The latter being a common practise with eg Diageo malts Lagavulin and Caol Ila.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:19 am

Nick Brown wrote:I have noted Jim McEwan's offer to beat me up. It speaks volumes.


As does, perhaps, your choice to take McEwan's blether at face value. (And me, yours?)

Nick Brown wrote:I want to like Bruichladdich whisky, but at the moment I don't. I find the product basically bland. Attempts to flavour it by mixing it with heavily peated whisky or putting it in wine casks have not, IMO, created balanced whiskies.


Fair enough.

Nick Brown wrote:I have a wider issue, not confined to Bruichladdich, with the concept of finishing. I find it akin to adding flavouring - and if finishing for only a few hours can produce a noticable effect, I think the argument that it is about maturation in wood over the years is exposed as a sham.


An interesting point. It has been accepted for over a hundred years to mature whisky in casks that previously held sherry, among other things, and we talk all the time about sherry influence (or port or whatever). It is perhaps disingenuous not to recognize this as the addition of flavoring. But that cow left the barn a long time ago. So where do we draw the line?

Nick Brown wrote:At the moment, there is a trend to find ever more exotic sounding casks that I can't believe are selected for the beneficial effects they will have, but rather to add mystique in spite of the damage that they do to a whisky.


Even a "bland" one? If a "bland" whisky is made palatable or interesting (to some, anyway), is that bad? There is indeed a lot of experimentation going on, and no doubt some works and some doesn't. Maybe, in your opinion, none of it does. But your imputation of motive here is suspect.

Nick Brown wrote:I also wonder about the attempts to create the most heavily peated whisky in the world, ever. This seems to me to be...a publicity stunt and an attempt to shift units to people who will go for anything extreme.


Publicity stunt? No doubt. It has not, to my knowledge, been (pardon the expression) repeated. What of it?

I would be willing to bet that the extremely peated Octomore will be undrinkable on its own, and will be used for vatting.

Nick Brown wrote:I also wonder at the trend of selling every whisky as a unique, not to be missed, special limited edition. This claims attention from the press and money from punters that I would like to have seen shared around a little. It also fuels the demand for the silly finishes, as each bottling has to be made demontrably different and novel.


Most of Bruichladdich's many bottlings are straight bourbon casks, or sherry, or some mix of the two. I, for one, feel no compulsion to get them all; I grab one when I want a Bruichladdich. If any brand suffers from that, it's Bruichladdich's own standard bottlings. I remember laughing when told the Yellow Submarine story at the distillery, which ended with a shrug: "Any excuse for a new bottling." I think what is being done there, for the most part, is assembling casks for various batches, without worrying whether this batch is the same as the last. The names are for fun. Is it any different, really, from issuing a'bunadh Batch 14, or Macallan 18/1986? Is it worse than pretending that the Talisker 10 you buy now is exactly the same as the Talisker 10 you bought ten years ago?

Nick Brown wrote:The selling of "futures" is not unique to Bruichladdich, and does provide revenue up front. But I wonder whether people who buy them really appreciate the true costs of the product after tax, bottling and delivery or are aware of the hit-and-miss nature of single cask whiskies. Most single casks on the market are selected post maturation because they turned out well - the rest are mixed into blends or with mixed with other casks to create OB single malts. Buying the cask up front is a huge risk.


Good points. Caveat emptor. buying a cask is expensive enough, though; I doubt many people do it casually.

Nick Brown wrote:In terms of whether Bruichladdich or MMD are stepping outside the rules, who knows? I am not familiar enough with the rules. But they have packaged other distilleries whiskies in Bruichladdich tubes.


This is not, I think, the first time you have made this charge. Do you have some evidence of this? I am not aware of it.

Nick Brown wrote:They are marketing Speyside whiskies as being matured on Islay and mixed with Islay water. If this is not outside the rules, then it ought to be.


As opposed to being warehoused in, say, Elgin and cut with Elgin mains water? Or matured in one of the vast warehouse complexes outside Glasgow?

Nick Brown wrote:I know others like Bruichladdich's products - and fair play to them. My worry, though, is that they are fueling a general trend in the whisky world to create novelty regardless of whether it represents an improvement.


A fair enough worry. Quite aside from your very personal and arguable judgment that Bruichladdich are creating "novelty regardless of whether it represents an improvement", my opinion is that there is indeed a certain amount of trendiness going on, and like most trends, it will pass or at least subside. But for all we know, we are looking at the beginning of the new reality. It wouldn't be the first sea change in the whisky world. But I tend to think the trendies will come and go, and ultimately the people who care most about whisky--we, the consumers--will decide what constitutes quality and fair practice.

Thanks, Nick, for making us think.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:22 pm

The MMD bottlings currently bear the words "Bottled in Islay with Islay spring water" on the tubes, but not on the bottle labels. The Press Release on the MMD site advertising this was taken down last night (why?), but the picture of the presentation (Macallan) can still be seen.

http://www.murray-mcdavid.com/new_releases.htm

The Bruichladdich Valinch tubes have been used for Bloodtub presentations of various distilleries - giving rise, for example, to Bruichladdich Ardbeg - albeit with MMD labels on the bottles. I don't know what the Bloodtub stuff is all about and I can't find pictures on the net, but I have seen them before.

This may not contravene the rules, but it ought to.

In terms of finishing - I have had one or two port wood finishes that have been OK (Bowmore Voyage and Tullibardine come to mind). The rest has just been cac. I know sherry wood has been used for ages, but I think there is something about the sherrywood that complements the malt whisky. I'm not convinced that the other woods do complement the whisky in the same way. Also, the sherrywood tends to be used for the entire maturation rather than as a finish - although sherry finishes are starting to creep in.

The idea of using finishes to pep up a bland bottling is a reasonable point to make. In itself, perhaps it is not the worst thing in the world. But these days, it seems that every new age expression from a distillery has to have some weird finish to justify its existance. It seems to no longer be enough to just watch the effect that the maturation cask has over varying times. This is not a problem that is exclusive to any one distillery, but one or two do seem to be spurring things on.

The question of limited releases is one of overkill. If every release is special, limited, once in a lifetime, never to be missed, etc. then the effect will eventually be that no release is special. It will also mean that we have no reference point when buying whiskies - at least with a standard Glenmorangie 10 or Ardbeg 10 we have some idea of what to expect based on past bottles we have tried. If everything becomes a one off, we will have no guarantee of quality and will have to take pot luck (or, even worse, be guided by the distillery tasting notes on the label!).

As I say, I hope one day I will like some of the current distillations and salute Bruichladdich. I suspect that day, if it happens, will be a few years off yet. Meanwhile I will stick to my guns.
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:00 pm

Finishes, a subject that draws as much attention as whether to add water to whisky. Yes, finishes are all the rage at the moment but I think people forget how little of the whole finishes represent, it's a miniscule amount of whisky in the grand scheme of whisky, a mere drop in the bucket.

Nick you are correct that finishes seem to be a relatively new creature but the industry were using all of these casks 100 years ago but for full maturation. The Sicilians are very pleased to be once again selling wine casks to the whisky industry after a 100 year gap.

Bruichladdich are doing a great job, IMHO, of keeping their name in the spotlight and limited bottlings are one way to do it. They are quite up front about what they do, there is no bunk about one batch being the same as the last which is refreshing in my mind because we all know about batch variation.

A little bit of publicity is a small price to pay to save some stills from destruction I'd say.
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Postby Frodo » Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:14 am

Nick Brown wrote:The idea of using finishes to pep up a bland bottling is a reasonable point to make. In itself, perhaps it is not the worst thing in the world. But these days, it seems that every new age expression from a distillery has to have some weird finish to justify its existance. It seems to no longer be enough to just watch the effect that the maturation cask has over varying times. This is not a problem that is exclusive to any one distillery, but one or two do seem to be spurring things on.


So the argument here is that finishes are being used to activly market whiskies instead of just papering over the barrels that are sub-par. Let's see...

Glenmorangie - Port, Burgandy, Sherry.
Glenfiddich - 21yr Rum finish.
Glenlevit - 12yr French Oak finish.
Arran - too numerous to count.
Balvenie - Portwood, Doublewood finishes.
Laphroaig Quarter cask - (OK, OK perhaps going too far afield here).
Distiller's Editions (Diego)
Auchantoshan Tripplewood
Bruichladdich Flirtation

Yup, finishes have definetly crept into the market place in my opinion. Whether this is good or bad is another story.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:52 pm

Nick Brown wrote:The MMD bottlings currently bear the words "Bottled in Islay with Islay spring water" on the tubes, but not on the bottle labels.


Don't understand your problem with that. It's the truth.

Nick Brown wrote:The Bruichladdich Valinch tubes have been used for Bloodtub presentations of various distilleries - giving rise, for example, to Bruichladdich Ardbeg - albeit with MMD labels on the bottles. I don't know what the Bloodtub stuff is all about and I can't find pictures on the net, but I have seen them before.


Will reserve comment for further evidence.

Nick Brown wrote:I know sherry wood has been used for ages, but I think there is something about the sherrywood that complements the malt whisky. I'm not convinced that the other woods do complement the whisky in the same way.


You are of course entitled to your opinion. So are others entitled to theirs.

Nick Brown wrote:The question of limited releases is one of overkill. If every release is special, limited, once in a lifetime, never to be missed, etc. then the effect will eventually be that no release is special.


Sorry, don't follow your logic. I just don't see a problem here.

Nick Brown wrote:It will also mean that we have no reference point when buying whiskies - at least with a standard Glenmorangie 10 or Ardbeg 10 we have some idea of what to expect based on past bottles we have tried. If everything becomes a one off, we will have no guarantee of quality and will have to take pot luck (or, even worse, be guided by the distillery tasting notes on the label!).


I don't think this is true, either. We usually have an idea what a distillery's character is, and most of us enjoy the variations on the theme. Were it not so, the blether on this board would be reduced significantly. And anyone who wishes to limit himself to the familiar is free to do so.
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Postby Crispy Critter » Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:12 am

I have mixed feelings about "finishes" - however, I feel that if a distiller, whether 'Laddie or otherwise, can make a good product by finishing or maturing it in an odd cask, they should go for it. If people like it, great - if they don't, then the market will have spoken.

Not all of Bruichladdich's offerings are done this way, either - the Fifteen was not subjected to a finish, and, IMHO, it was quite good.

Speaking of unusual casks, has any Scotch been matured or finished in casks that were used for American straight rye whiskey? As with bourbon, straight rye is matured in new charred oak - but the 51%-or-more-rye mashbill gives it a very different flavor than bourbon. I think a Scotch aged in rye wood would be very interesting...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Dec 07, 2005 7:11 am

That's a good question. If I understand correctly, the Scotch whisky industry refers to any barrel that previously held American whiskey as a bourbon barrel, whether the whiskey was, strictly speaking, bourbon or not. It might well be that this has already been done and gone without much notice.
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Postby karlejnar » Wed Dec 07, 2005 5:24 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:That's a good question. If I understand correctly, the Scotch whisky industry refers to any barrel that previously held American whiskey as a bourbon barrel, whether the whiskey was, strictly speaking, bourbon or not.

One example would be Ardbeg, who use Jack Daniels barrels'. Strictly speaking JD is a Tennessee Whiskey not a Bourbon - as I understand it. But I might be wrong :?

Never heard of any distillery specifically stating they use Rye barrels - but as MrT points out it might excist.

Crispy Critter wrote:As with bourbon, straight rye is matured in new charred oak - but the 51%-or-more-rye mashbill gives it a very different flavor than bourbon. I think a Scotch aged in rye wood would be very interesting...

How would they differ in taste? - I haven't tasted any Rye Whiskey :oops: (yet) - just curious.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:30 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
The Bruichladdich Valinch tubes have been used for Bloodtub presentations of various distilleries - giving rise, for example, to Bruichladdich Ardbeg - albeit with MMD labels on the bottles. I don't know what the Bloodtub stuff is all about and I can't find pictures on the net, but I have seen them before.

This may not contravene the rules, but it ought to.



Hi Guys ,
Just picked up on this thread , don't usually look in this section as it's usually just flogging tickets for the Whisky Live Events .... :wink: :lol:

Whats this new Bruichladdich Ardbeg ? Have i missed something while i've been doing a publicity tour for The Laddie distillery ? 8)
I've got two of these "Bloodtub" Ardbegs and no where on the bottle does it say "Bruichladdich Ardbeg" , the only reference to Bruichladdich is the web address " for more information"
The Bloodtub "Finishing " , "Enhancing" what ever you want to call it was just something different , a bit of fun i suppose , but it was ok in my eyes even though a lot of the people took it the wrong way at the time .
If this is so wrong what about the "Islay Cask Finishes" ? Is this not just other whiskies trying to cash in on Islays popularity ?
What about Cadenheads Rum matured in ex-Laphroaig Casks ?
We could go on and on .......
As i've stated else where i like The Laddie regular stuff , i don't agree with their finishing policy but hey as Harry says if everybody liked the same stuff it would be a boring world .......

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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:44 am

I have seen in online inventories (specifically, the LCBO in Ontario) listings such as "Bruichladdich Ardbeg" or "Bruichladdich Macallan". These are, of course, MMcD bottlings, and I don't know how it happens that they get listed that way, but perhaps the bastard form trickles down to retail on occasion. Obviously it oughtn't, and I'm quite sure it's not the intent of Bruichladdich for it to do so.
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:41 pm

The Canadian liquor borads are not known for their accuracy, in BC they still list any batch of Aberlour A'bunadh as the 'Sterling Silver Label' which everybody know a) was never available in BC and b) had not been in circulation since 2000. I wouldn't blame a distillery for what some liquor board employee does with their product.
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