Scotch Whisky Review #262 & 263: Duel of the Fates (Bruichladdich Black Art 06.1 & 07.1)
Price: Samples courtesy of /u/herr_maltenberg
Scotch Whisky Review #262: Bruichladdich Black Art 1990 Edition 06.1 26 Year
Age: 26 Year. Distilled in 1990.
Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.
Nose: (according to the wife) Autumn apples and apple jam dominate, with more that apple jam than anything else. There’s a little bit of super, super dark chocolate along with a dusting of brown sugar. Some tropical fruits also pop in in the form of passionfruit and one of lychee or rambutans.
Palate: The first note is one that is a tad salty and a tad sweet. It reminds me a lot of one of the wife’s favorites, kettle corn (specifically Angie’s). After the initial hit of flavor comes some fruitier notes. Mixed berry jam, a bit of apple, and lychee jelly is what stands out. With a drop of water, a creamier and lightly funky note comes out which tastes a lot like cream sherry. Sadly, the lychee jelly note all but vanishes.
Finish: Medium to short in length. Lychee jelly is the mainstay here along with a bit of oak. With water, you get a strong note of green apple jolly ranchers and a little bit of marzipan.
Conclusion: Tropical fruits? In my Laddie? That’s new! From start to finish, there’s a little bit of tropical sunshine meeting autumn orchard picking favorites in this whisky. You get a bit of apple and apple jam along with a bit of passionfruit and lychee. The slightly heavier jam notes and the far lighter tropical ones somehow work out to support each other very well and provide for a really fun experience. I am kicking myself a bit for adding in any water to this. While the little bit of cream sherry that comes through is nice, it isn’t as fun as the lychee jelly notes that just gets smothered. All in all, very good, but that’s what you’d expect!
Final Score: 85.
Scotch Whisky Review #263: Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Edition 07.1 25 Year
Age: 25 Year. Distilled in 1994.
Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.
Nose: (according to the wife) Smoked salmon and a bitter herb mix are what come through the most. There’s a little bit of Turkish delight and some cinnamon to go along with it. Some notes of coffee, a rather strong and slightly acidic one, come through as well. (according to me) I normally don’t disagree heavily with the wife’s nosing notes, but I got a very different flavor profile from this. For me it was lightly citrusy with the main notes being of grapefruit and pomelo. Just a bit different but I’d go with her notes than mine.
Palate: Raisins. All the raisins. Golden, sultana, and regular. You name it, this has got it! Following the raisin parade comes some lighter citrus notes of grapefruit and pomelo which is mixed with a very dry red wine. It kind of tastes like sangria I make with Tempranillo and blood oranges. Towards the back comes a little bit of black tea, perhaps assam, and a bit of turbinado sugar. With a drop of water, everything seems to rehydrate a little. The raisins notes become more like grapes and the red wine becomes less dry and a little more semi-sweet.
Finish: Medium to short in length. It finishes like you’d expect a dry red wine to. Red grape skins, a hint of tea, and marzipan wraps this all up. On the last couple of sips, I got a little bit of milk chocolate malted milk biscuits. I’m not sure if that was just palate fatigue kicking in or not, but it was a nice way to wrap things up.
Conclusion: If you were to make a whisky for wine drinkers, this probably would be it. The raisins, citrus, and dryness that reminds me so much of Tempranillo just work together oh so well. The assam tea and turbinado sugar help keep things in balance and provide some nice earthiness as well. The finish, while on the shorter side, is delicious with that bit of marzipan and red grape skins. All in all, this is a really flavorful and fun whisky without being too sweet or overpowering. It’ll live long in the memory as I’m already wanting another pour
Final Score: 91.
Scotch Whisky Review #262 & 263, Islay Review #35 & 36, Whisky Network Review #404 & 405
- 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.