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Bruichladdichs: Infinity vs. 1986 Dark Sherry?

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Bruichladdichs: Infinity vs. 1986 Dark Sherry?

Postby Sherried Malt » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:34 pm

To Malt Teaser et al...

In another thread, MT made a comment that he thought the 1986 Dark Sherries were better than the Macallan 18. Given the price of the 1986s, I want to find a cheaper alternative... Does anyone have any experience with how the Infinity stacks up against these Dark Sherries?

Thanks to all!
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:06 pm

the infinity, if im right, does that not have some port charlotte in it? if it does then by comparison, its very young compaired to the 1986 laddies.
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:07 pm

also, if i mind ight, the 1986's are 100% sherry matured, while is the infinity not part bourbon?
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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:21 pm

I believe you are correct on both counts, V.
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Postby vitara7 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:22 pm

im not sure peer, but im sure malt-teaser will soon put us straight ;)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:31 pm

Hi all,
strangely, I haven't yet had the pleasure of tasting the Infinity (edition 1, 55.5% vol), but I do intend to correct this small error on my part as I have one lined up for a tasting in the near future.

What I can say is that the 1986 sherries to the best of my knowledge are indeed matured entirely in sherry casks. So far, I know of these 1986's:

1986 - 2001 "Country Life", run of 800 bottles
1986 - 2005 "Dark Sherry", run of 516 bottles
1986 - 2005 "50yrs of Maison de Whisky", run of 690 bottles
1986 - 2006 "Sherry Butt No. 2" (introduced at Munich Whisky Festival, Feb. 2006), run of 498 bottles
1986 - 2006 "Sherry Cask 494" (sometimes referred to as dark Sherry No. 3), not sure how many bottles off the top of my head.
1986 - 2006 "Blacker Still" Oloroso casks. From what I've heard, more collectible than drinkable, but I can't confirm or deny this personally.

There are also one or two 1986 Valinches around, but these are also quite expensive.


Having tried two of the 1986 sherries (Sherry Butt No. 2 & Cask 494) I can say that these are excellent sherried drams, luxuriously smooth comes to mind from when I tasted them. In fact, that Butt No. 2 was one of the highlights of the 2006 Munich Whisky Festival for me, along with a rather excellent Caol Ila from Hart Brothers.

Once my tasting is completed, I will post impressions of the Infinity.
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Postby karlejnar » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:18 am

According to Bruichladdich web-site, Infinity is a vatting of 100% Refill Sherry casks. But some (or all?) quite young one's. And I read or heard somewhere, that it should contain a "dash" of Port Charlotte also from a sherry cask, (maybe even a Bloodtub)
Haven't opened my bottle yet, but had it at a tasting in june '05. According to my notes, it should be casks from '89, '90 and '91, and 2001 PC (sherry)
Nose of sherry, fruits and a little smoke. Taste of sherry, dried fruits and sweet liqourice. Medium long and slightly bitter finish.

The 1986 sherried Laddie's are probably all very good, since IMHO it was a great year at Bruichladdich. There are a number of very fine all bourbon matured one's too.

I've only had the pleasure of having two of the '86 "sherry-monster's"
"Country Life", 15yo, 46%, Dist: 1986, Bottled sep 2001, #511 of 800 from Oloroso sherry-butt no. 356
"Baraille", 18yo, 54,4%, Dist: 05.02.1986, Bottled 2004, #406 of 500, Fresh sherry cask (only available at the distillery and only for cask owners. 50cl bottle - a bit expensive)
Sadly both emptied - but what a treat :P
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:03 am

Hi there,

there is no Port Charlotte in the Infinity.

Greetings
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:05 pm

Sure is it not all Bruichladdich anyway :wink:
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:48 pm

Hi there,

well IWC there is no peat in the Infinity.

Greetings
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:52 pm

kallaskander wrote:Hi there,

well IWC there is no peat in the Infinity.

Greetings
kallaskander


I was Just being pedantic :)
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:36 pm

Hi there,

no more than usual. :wink:

Greetings
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Postby Arthur Motley » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:04 pm

I'm pretty sure Infinity #1 had PC 2001 in it. We at RMW all thought there was a smokiness to the taste, as well as the obvious considerable sherry impact. We were the first to sell this along with the other Indy whisky retailers (LFW etc) and I am pretty sure that Bruichladdich told us it included PC at the time... I hope so, as we've sold it as such to many customers now.

Whatever the make-up, it was a great dram and we certainly miss it now it's sold out!
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:11 pm

Hi there,

yes, that first special edition for you lfw and La Maison etc. was different and if they told you that it contained PC it was there.
Never had the chance to try this bottling.
The widespread Infinity for all the other retailers has no PC and is finished in Sauternes casks.
So never fear Arthur, you sold the right stuff.

Greetings
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Postby Sherried Malt » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:00 pm

kallaskander wrote:The widespread Infinity for all the other retailers has no PC and is finished in Sauternes casks.

Greetings
kallaskander


I thought the Infinity was (is) matured in 100% sherry casks.. Isn't it the second edition of the 15 year old that's finished in a sauternes cask? I'm losing track...

Cheers.
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Postby vitara7 » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:05 pm

thats good old bruichladdich for you, so many editions and so many finishes, even jim mcewan has lost track of what there bottlings these days...
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Postby Arthur Motley » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:07 pm

"So never fear Arthur, you sold the right stuff." Phew!
Now I like Bruichladdich (the place and the whisky) and think Jim and Duncan are great. BUT, isn't it a bit frustrating that they tinkered with the recipe in such a way without being clear? I spend a bit of time keeping an eye on new releases but I hadn't noticed a version of Infinity on the market with a different malt and cask recipe to the one we'd sold. Isn't it a bit unfair for whisky buyers who read reviews about a great peaty sherry bomb called Infinity and get a Sauternes-finished trad-Ladd? Was it clear on the bottle about peating/cask type?
Further muddying the waters is Infinity 2 (or should that be 3? Or more?!?)Here is the trade info for the bottling released in Autumn 2006:
Bruichladdich Infinity 2nd Edition
general release – not a limited edition
cask type – original cask bourbon and then mature enhanced in Rioja casks
colour - medium
alcohol strength – 52.5%
unchill-filtered
colouring free
packaging – see attached PDF’s
2nd release in the acclaimed award winning Infinity series
higher peating level than the 1st edition
superb balance of peat and Rioja wine flavours
peating level - 18 to 20ppm (Arthur - must be PC in there somewhere!)

They've got a lot of criticism for having too many bottlings, but they certainly should have made it more transparent which was which!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:31 pm

The Infinity in my collection is as follows:

Infinity 1, 55.5% vol.
No dates.

As for peat; the reverse label states:

.....distilled and matured in sherry casks beside the wild Atlantic Ocean.
A beautifully balanced whisky of finesse and maturity underscored with beguiling power. Flavours of soft fruits, mellow oak, rich vanilla are suffused with the smouldering warmth of peat fires ending in a fathomless finish.

Hmmmmmmm.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:39 pm

I have just checked my other hoard of Infinity #1 which I bought much later as sales stock and from a different source, these are exactly the same as my own personal one; no date.

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Postby karlejnar » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:07 pm

kallaskander wrote:The widespread Infinity for all the other retailers has no PC and is finished in Sauternes casks.

Well according to my sources Infinity 1st Ed. does contain PC2001. It may be only a "dash" how ever much that is. :roll:

And the sellsheet says "100% matured in refill sherry casks". No mention of ACE'ing here:
http://www.bruichladdich.com/wwwproduct/pdfsheets/infinity/infinitysell.pdf

The 2nd edition is even more peaty than the 1st
It is more heavily peated than the 1st edition, averaging at around 20 ppm.
.
That would suggest that the 1st edition is also peaty.

And the info sheet says: ACE'd in Rioja casks
A period of Additional Cask Evolution in Rioja casks has introduced a red berry fruit and toasted butter, oak flavours that beautifully balances with the smokiness of the peat.

http://www.realmalt.com/prod4web/newprodoct06/pdf/infinity2infoweb.pdf

So unless the peat comes from Octomore I would say there is indeed Port Charlotte in the Infinity('s)
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Postby kallaskander » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:44 am

Hi there,

"... was distilled ... and matured in Sherry casks beside the wild Atlantic Ocean. A beautifully balanced whisky .... mellow oak, rich vanilla are suffused with the smouldering warmth of peat fires... "

That is taken from the back of an Infinity bottling with 55,5%. I have not tried this one but the one I had was not peaty at all but sweet and mellow and I thought I had read something about Sauternes finishing. I withdraw the statement I made above about this finishing for a batch of infinity, as I am no longer sure.
Alas the bottle with 55,5% bottled 12 Oct 2005 states nothing about any finishing and especially not about Rijoa.
The colour is of a reddish gold with black highlights. If this was matured in sherry casks, where does the rich vanilla come from? The colour speaks of a mixture of sherry and bourbon casks as it is not coloured.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Greetings
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:50 am

As I posted a little earlier and as Kallaskander has just shown, the Infinity #1 reverse label does say there is some peat.

"A warmth of peat fires"

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Postby kallaskander » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:00 am

Hi there,

yes but when you compare the reverse label text with this you begin to doubt again.

http://www.bruichladdich.com/wwwproduct ... tenote.pdf

Not a word about peat or smoke.

And here what they say about Infinity II, which is not that much.

http://www.realmalt.com/prod4web/newpro ... nfoweb.pdf

Greetings
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:05 am

OK, there's only one thing to do; I'll post tasting notes after my tasting which uses this whisky.

But you will have to wait a few weeks.

In the meantime: Have fun discussing!
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Postby Jan » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:54 am

I'm pretty sure that there was a quantity of PC in the first edition. It's been a while since I finished my bottle, but I remember it as a sherry/peat profile.

kallaskanders post was the first I has ever heard about Infinity being sauternes finished.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:14 pm

Hi ,
if you look at the LFW site it lists both the Infinities . It states the first one is ...
"A mix/vatting/blending/fudging?? of various styles from Bruichladdich Distillery, some first fill sherry casks from 1989, 90 + 91 with some young, peaty 'Port Charlotte style, bottled exclusively for a few of us independent whisky types."

The second one is ....
"A new vatting with less sherry than our old favourite which was a mix of peaty Bruichladdich and three sherry cask vintages. This time there is no sherry but they have buggered about with Rioja casks for a finish. But let's ignore that."

The info sheet on the Laddie sit says that it's Rioja finished as well .
http://www.realmalt.com/prod4web/newpro ... nfoweb.pdf

To be honest i wasn't impressed by either of them .
Regarding the 1986 sherried ones , i've enjoyed them all especially seeing i'm not that fond of large sherried whiskies . I would have bought the "Blacker still" (a really impressive sherried whisky ) if it had been more reasonably priced , £100 was a bit OTT IMHO.

Slainte
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Infinity 1

Postby r900p » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:02 pm

Bruichladdich - Infinity OB 55.5%vol.
A mix/vatting/blending/fudging?? of various styles from Bruichladdich Distillery, some first fill sherry casks from 1989, 90 + 91 with some young, peaty 'Port Charlotte style, bottled exclusively for a few of us independent whisky types.

This is from the lfw website, the port charlotte contents, well is is or isn't it, not entirely clear, the 'style' justs suggests it is similar to it and doesn't say that it definately contains it. But how this special bottling compares to the infinity 1 from everyone else i have no ideas.
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