The most recent release in the Black Art Series was put together from casks that were laid down in 1994. This is the year in which the distillery closed for a long time. It was only reopened by Mark Reynier and his team in 2001. The little booklet that comes with the bottle states ‘Cask type: only Adam knows’. That’s Adam Hannett, the young Master Distiller that created this Black Art.
Every time I put my nose in the glass, I get something new. Nicely layered and complex. Blood oranges, toffee apples, gooseberries, rhubarb marmalade, rose water, walnuts and sniffing tobacco presented on an oak tray. For a moment it even reminds me of Armagnac. Very round, very nice.
It is bittersweet and spicy on the palate. The sweet and sour notes of the citrus fruit are supported by cinnamon and licorice, but… it even has a salty edge! I was not expecting this. After a few moments it starts to dry up a little, but that doesn’t bother me.
The malt lingers nicely and suddenly shows some maritime notes. Great finish.
Beautiful Black Art release. These notes are dedicated to Duncan McGillivray, who passed away in the week in which I tried this whisky. He was one of the icons of Bruichladdich until 1994 and was re-hired immediately when the distillery reopened. He retired a few years ago. May he enjoy many drams in heaven!