Bruichladdich Islay Barley (2011)

Christmas Countdown 2020 #7: Bruichladdich Islay Barley (2011)

Distillery: Bruichladdich

Region: Islay

Age: 6 Year. Distilled in 2011.

ABV: 50.0%.

Cask Type: 75% was aged in first-fill American whiskey casks, 15% was aged in second and third-fill Sauternes and Austrian sweet wine casks, and 10% was aged in first-fill Rivesaltes wine casks.

Price: $65

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.


Nose: There’s a really funky peat that is somewhere between medicinal and smelling of re-hydrated mushrooms. It’s joined by a lot of lemon. There’s a nice whiff of sea air as well, not the kind you get standing on a clean and sunny beach but the kind you get standing next to a bunch of seaweed or other sea fauna.

Palate: You get a nice sweet cereal up front. It’s actually on the highly sugary side, almost like taking a bite into Frosted Flakes. It’s joined again by lemon. Not a whole lot else going on here, not a lot of change with water added either.

Finish: On the shorter side of things. There’s a bit of that medicinal peat along with some fresh seaweed. .

Conclusion: This was a rather disappointing one from Bruichladdich. They’re usually great at extracting a lot of flavor from young spirit, but this Islay Barley release from 2011 seems to fall quite flat. It’s not bad, but it lacks any form of complexity. It’s purely sugary cereal with a dash of lemon. Perhaps another few years in the barrels would’ve done this a world of good, but as it stands it feels and tastes like a rushed product. Shame. Would I buy another bottle? Not for $65.

Final Score: 74.

Scotch Whisky Review #230, Islay Review #29, Whisky Network Review #349


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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