I'd recently attended a whisky tasting held in the city center of Perth that comprised the launching of a new Australian distillery: New World Whisky's Starward Single Malt, 5 different Bruichladdich's and 5 different whiskies from Buffalo Trace.
I've had a good portion of the Buffalo Trace series and they're always good for a giggle, but I'd mainly came for the Starward and to try the Bruichladdich's which I'd only had very limited experiences with.
Up to this time I'd only had the Bruichladdich Classic, not a bad little whisky and Bruichladdich's Octomore Orpheus 2.2, absolutely brilliant.
The first whisky we started with was the Starward and then moved to the Bruichladdich Classic. Next on the menu was Bruichladdich's Islay Barley.
I'd seen the very many different Bruichladdich whiskies for sale on different whisky sites before, but knew very little about their whiskies other then it was an Islay distillery that was small production and doing some interesting different whisky experiments.
Whisky experiments always sound good to me!
The speaker talks about Bruichladdich and how when you go back decades ago all the barley on Islay was grown there and how these days the majority of distilleries will import their barley, and how Bruichladdich is trying to change the way things are done, by now having farms on Islay grow barley for them and how this release's is from just one farm on Islay.
This release's barley comes from the Headland of the Gallows on Dunlossit Farm.
It's a pale whisky, light in color and it's also an unpeated whisky, so any flavors or aromas of peat will come from the water around the distillery.
It has a soft nose, with faint peat, citrus, honey, vanilla, caramel, barley, floral, but not overpoweringly so and lots of fruit, mainly cherries, some oranges and lemon.
It's an interesting little nose and not at all what I'd expect out of an Islay whisky.
Time for a taste though!
Nice little mouthfeel, the higher strength helps that out, too many whiskies that sit below 50% or heck even at 50% have too thin a mouthfeel for my personal liking.
Again there is some faint peat, but it's in the background behind citrus, pears, oak, vanilla, honey, barley and chocolate.
Delicious, but again for me, not having had many unpeated Islay whiskies it's a bit of a surprise.
There's a long lingering finish with the citrus hanging on and on.
An enjoyable little whisky and a whisky that makes me wish that I could try it up against another Bruichladdich, same age, same cask, but with different barley, just to see how much the different types of barley influence the whisky.
I haven't seen this whisky in Australia yet sadly, but I'd expect to pay about $80 to $90 AUS which isn't a bad price to pay for a higher strength Islay whisky. If you happen to see it in a bar and are looking for an interesting variation on the Islay whiskies I'd be happy to give it a go and over here in Perth I'd expect to pay $15 or so a dram which seems fairly reasonable.