I'm trying to work through some samples these days, as they've really accumulated. It's tough work, but I'm nothing if not driven. This is a sample of the (sadly) discontinued Laddie Ten from Bruichladdich. The sample was graciously provided by @Nozinan and the bottle was opened in July 2018, was gassed, and was 2/3 full when the sample was poured on Dec 2, 2018.
Information about the casks used varies online. Bruichladdich's site only mentions "American and European Oak Casks", and the consensus seems to indicate an 85/15 split between ex-bourbon and first fill sherry casks. But that could be wrong. I really don't know.
- Nose (undiluted): floral at first, lemon, brine, ginger, pear, vanilla, light brown sugar. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be unpeated, but I definitely get some very light smoke
- Palate (undiluted): wonderful rich texture, sweet malt notes, briny, toffee, citrus
- Finish: medium length, toasted oak, pears, light baking spices (nutmeg and cinnamon), milk chocolate, a bit more brine, and a hint of smoke or maybe barrel char. Delightful.
The nose just keeps developing with time. There are some sherry notes in here (dates, red grapes), but they don’t dominate. I can still taste the malt and the unmistakable Bruichladdich nutty/barley character.
With water, there are more fruity sherry notes popping out on the nose, and the texture becomes very creamy, with some sweet grape flavours as well. The oak becomes a bit more prominent on the finish. Delectable either way. This whisky is a beautiful example of balance. There is a little sweet, dark sherry character, but it doesn’t dominate the malt. There’s nuttiness, but not at the expense of the lighter fruits and oak. If I could find a bottle, I would buy it no questions asked. As silly as it may seem, this is a whisky I want to drink outside in the summer time. I feel the same way about The Classic Laddie, but this one is better and more complex to my taste buds.
My history with this malt goes back a few years. In 2012-2013 I bought a bottle of this and so did my brother in law. His we opened in Calgary. It was...OK.
My niece liked it when she tried it there.
When stocks of this were dwindling in Ontario in 2014 I bought another one to use as trade bait, as we didn't know if the distillery would start it up again.
Fast forward a little and my niece is visiting Toronto. I have this bottle of Laddie Classic (not the classic Laddie) and when I tried it in 2011 it was...OK. So I poured some for her and she liked it, and I found I was really liking it too. I have 1 ounce left and am saving it for a review (possibly head to head vs this one).
In July 2018 I finally opened the bottle I bought in 2014 to share with a different b-I-L. I found I liked it a LOT more than I had, very similar to the Classic. So now trading the other one is off the table.
I'm fairly convinced it wasn't the spirits that changed but my palate. I can now appreciate these whiskies more. So I'm looking forward to putting them H2H before I finally say farewell to my Laddie Classic forever...