Valnich & Mallet Hidden Casks Collection Bruichladdich 15 Year Madeira Cask (2003)

Scotch Whisky Review #320: Valnich & Mallet Hidden Casks Collection Bruichladdich 15 Year Madeira Cask (2003)

Distillery: Bruichladdich.

Bottler: Valnich & Mallet.

Region: Islay.

Age: 15 Year. Distilled in 2003. Bottled in 2018.

ABV: 54.1%.

Cask Type: Madeira Butt.

Cask Number: 18-1501.

Color: 1.1, Burnished. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: (according to the wife) It smells exactly like cat pee.

Nose: Oh man it’s pungent. From the moment your nose gets anywhere close to the glass, you get punched in the face with an incredibly pungent scent. It smells spoiled milk or a really, really stinky cheese (worse than blue cheese by far). It also smells like my dog’s poop on a day he had indigestion (doggie pictures here).

Palate: The smell is so repugnant and pungent that I had to hold my nose to even get a sip in. It, unfortunately, tastes an awful lot like it smells. No dog poop, but that ridiculously strong and stinky cheese comes through hard. There’s a bit of lemon curd that has gotten a bit off and is quite acidic.

Finish: The finish is actually quite nice, especially in contrast to the rest. It’s shorter than it could be with a really tasty and nice butter and caramel popcorn mix.

Conclusion: This is a whisky sample I’d gotten a couple years ago and forgotten about it. /u/KissMeElon and I were talking about whiskies that left you wondering what the bottlers were thinking and I remembered I had some of this infamous dram. There’s no two ways about it: it’s awful. Awful might even be too soft of a word here, I’d even go as far as to say it is an abomination, it’s an atrocity, and virtually a crime against whisky-kind. The nose is dominated by a combination of animal excrement and the stinkiest cheese you can imagine. The palate is pretty awful as well, with more of that stinky cheese all the way through. The only reason this isn’t the singular worst whisky I’ve ever tasted is because of the finish, which is surprisingly actually very nice. If those butter and caramel popcorn notes were dominant from start to finish, I’d love to have more of this but as it was, I drain poured it about as soon as I could.

Final Score: 9.

Scotch Whisky Review #320, Islay Review #49, Whisky Network Review #465

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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