Bruichladdich 30 Year (1973)

Scotch Whisky Review #266: Bruichladdich 30 Year (1973)

Distillery: Bruichladdich

Region: Islay

Age: 30. Distilled in 1973 and bottled in 2003.

Cask Type: 65% American Oak & 35% Refill Sherry Hogshead

ABV: 43.00%

Price: Pour courtesy of /u/KissMeElon, bottle originally from Dundee Dell in Omaha, NE which has sadly since closed.

Color: 1.4, Tawny.


Nose: Rather fragrant and chock full of spices and aromatics. There’s a sweet and slightly cooling element to this nose. Menthol, mint, star anise, aloe vera, and a bit of juniper all come in here and there.

Palate: It’s a tad on the oak-y side of things. It’s not to the point of bourbon over-oaking, but the wood and nutty notes are front and center. Some more of the aromatics add a little bit of depth of flavor to this, largely in the form of aloe vera and menthol.

Finish: Incredibly long. There is a singular note that dominates everything and that’s vanilla. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. You might has well have taking a spoonful of vanilla paste with how much of it is in here.


Conclusion: /u/KissMeElon graciously shared a few of his bottles from the old Dundee Dell (a dive bar originally ran by a scotch enthusiast that has since closed and due to reopen under new owners) in Omaha. This Bruichladdich predates the shutdown and comes from the earlier years of Jim McEwan’s tenure there. The nose is a ton of fun with how fragrant and seemingly playful it all is. The finish is perhaps one of the most intense finishes I’ve had, with an incredible vanilla paste note that is frankly delicious. The rest of it is decent, but nothing to write home about. It’s very oak forward with not a lot else going on. Still, a really fun dram to have been able to try!

Final Score: 84.

Scotch Whisky Review #266, Islay Review #38, Whisky Network Review #410


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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