Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Edition 08.1 26 Year

Scotch Whisky Review #264: Bruichladdich Black Art 1994 Edition 08.1 26 Year

Distillery: Bruichladdich

Region: Islay

Age: 26 Year. Distilled in 1994.

ABV: 45.10%

Price: $430. Special Thanks to /u/herr_maltenberg for a sample of this as well.

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: It starts off with something a bit earthy, funky, and yet sweet. It’s almost like a marriage of maple syrup and sea salt air. There something that smells a lot like the Grand Marnier soufflé from our favorite steakhouse (801 Chophouse in Omaha, NE) served with a side of poached pears. A dusting of baking spices, overripe muscat grapes, and some riesling finish this off.

Palate: It’s fairly sweet with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet cotton candy grapes come to mind along with some green grape raisins. There’s a little bit of maple syrup and a little bit of the malt coming through. Then comes notes of a creamier white wine, almost like a rather full bodied Chardonnay. Cantaloupe melon and a bit of papaya that’s a touch underripe are the flavors of the day. A little bit of Grand Marnier wraps this up. With a bit of water, some spices come out and the melon and papaya notes intensify. It’s reminiscent of Tajín and those fruits.

Finish: Medium to long in length. There’s a truckload of papaya that sticks around. It all finishes on a slightly bitter note with the tannins providing a bit of a drying effect. There’s a little bit of cream sherry funk that pops in as well.

Conclusion: There are a ton of theories about every Black Art bottling online, something I’m sure that brings Adam Hannett a bunch of pleasure to watch. My theory for this particular bottle would be that he’s picked out a few wine matured or at least wine finish casks. There are notes of white wine from start to finish with white grapes and a bit of creamy melon and papaya. The little bit of Grand Marnier, perhaps my greatest non-whisky weakness for spirit, that pops in here and again is fantastic. With water, the little bit of spice that comes through is really tasty and helps add another element to this. In the end, whatever the makeup of this whisky is, it’s a job extraordinarily done. While my wallet reels a tad from this, I’m also sure that I’ll be enjoying it for a good long time.

Final Score: 94.

Scotch Whisky Review #264, Islay Review #37, Whisky Network Review #406

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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