This is the 4th 'Black Art' edition, a 23-year old Bruichladdich from 1989 that was released in 2013 with a total outturn of 6,000 bottles. I have opened my bottle to enjoy over the Christmas holidays.
The nose is lush and fruity with dates, figs, oranges, and cherries. Then a light rubber note develops, together with flavours of grapes and honey. At the end I got a hint of leather. What an absolutely stunning and multifaceted nose!
The palate is medium-bodied and lightly oaky. There now are flavours of liquorice and oranges, followed by notes of cherries and leather, and a touch of smoke.
The finish is long. Light tannic notes mingle with flavours of grape and chocolate.
I am blown away by this multifaceted whisky! Nose, palate, finish - none of them disappoints but it is perhaps the nose that got most of my attention. The fruity flavours have been brilliantly married with notes of oak and leather, and they carry right through to the end. As this is 'black art' not much is known about the casks that Jim McEwan used in creating this malt - except that ex bourbon and ex French oak casks were used - however I read that red wine casks might have played a role during maturation. Entirely possible, if you ask me. Merry Christmas!