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So the Laddie Ten is no longer in heavy production, and that’s sad. With dwindling stock and some technical problems at the distillery earlier this year, availability for this one is set to get thinner and thinner. Now that my current bottle is all gone, it’s time to go scour the city for more. If you’re a fan of this one and you can still find it in stores, I recommend buying it. Even if you don’t drink it now, this is a good one to have on the backburner. Where I live there are only a few stores left that still carry it.
Nose: Quite a fresh, clean barley note comes through first. Light honey, hay, ginger, corn flakes, lemon lozenges, sponge cake, butter, vanilla, ocean air, smoke, and something vegetal.
Palate: Light mouthfeel, with a salty, tangy arrival. Rich, lush barley, lemon tart, lemon meringue pie. The honey has a fun interplay with the citrus, and there’s a great balance between the sweet and the bitter.
Finish: The barley keeps on giving. Corn Flakes, honey, butter and cream, white pepper, ginger, mustard, anise, salt, oak, cookie batter, lemon tart, fresh peaches, a rather indistinguishable vegetal note, and light smoke. The Oloroso influence also begins to shine through here, with subtle berry and red fruit notes.
While I do love it, I’ll happily admit that the Laddie Ten is not the most accessible ten year old. It’s bolder, more complex, and more challenging than most whiskies within its age bracket. But, after you spend some time with it, you’ll find there’s much to like. There’s the bitter/sweet interplay, the orchard-fresh quality of the citrus and peach notes, the unique vegetal flavour, and finally the savory barley that Bruichladdich is known for. In spite of the universal praise the brand gets for its younger expressions, I feel a solid ten years has done this some favours. It’s still young, but it doesn’t taste too young or sharp like some of their releases do. It’s distinctive and delicious. Very recommended.