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In advance of my Quaich dinner tomorrow night (with Jim McEwan introducing some Bruichladdich expressions), I'm reviewing the 18 Year Old that I brought to the tasting that @victor and @dramlette arranged. At the time, I mistakenly thought this was the 2nd Edition but it is in fact the 1st Edition (I blame the booze) - so if you were there and you are reading this - I stand corrected! This 1st Edition was finished in German sweet wine casks, and is non-peated.
Colour is a shimmery copper, very nice. First thing on the nose is a sweet Gewurztraminer, with a heavy malt behind it. Rubbery, oaky and quite sweet. The palate is strong - a fruity blast of berries, brown sugar, oak and white wine, and rather syrupy in the mouthfeel. The finish is lovely, drying and very long, with toasty wood notes. Dominant flavours are fruit and oak, and they balance together here quite nicely.
A little water tames the sugar and brings out more malt and not-too-sweet fruit notes, like apple crisp - referring also the vanilla, berries and caramel.
Perhaps slightly sweet for my taste, and a wee bit too oaky - but I can appreciate this, especially with water, and enjoy it.
One more thing: I bought this because it is the bottle of Scotch featured in Roman Polanski's film Carnage, which I distributed in Canada. I was hoping to open the bottle at our office to celebrate its reaching $1 million in box office in Canada, but alas it underperformed - hence I'm drinking it now. If you've seen the film, you'll smile at my "apple crisp" reference above!
If I am lucky enough to purchase any Bruichladdichs tomorrow night - I will let you know!