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Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1 / 1990 / 23 Year Old

My 2017 Christmas dram

8 1190

@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

28th Dec 2017

1

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    90

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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!

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11 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, thanks very much for your delightful review.

Multifaceted indeed! The Black Art 2.2 I have owned is without any question the most complex complicated whisky I have ever encountered. The shades of nuance are astounding and even bewildering. All in a very interesting and enjoyable way. Dumbfounded would be the word I would choose in trying to give descriptors to the omnipresent slippery amorphous flavours of Bruichladdich Black Art.

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke commented

I have both the 4.1 and 5.1 and after first opening the 5.1 I did not like it as much but after a few months the 5.1 has passed the 4.1 for me but not by a lot. They are both great pours.

Great review

19 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Thank you for your comment, @Victor, I trust you are enjoying the festive season. Interesting that you mention the 2nd edition of Black Art as I have never seen this anywhere. I did review the first release on connosr but was not very impressed - too much grapey/winey notes there. The 4th release however I find fabulous, a real treat for a malt lover! Slainte!

18 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, slainte! I wish you a wonderful 2018.

18 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Hi @Astroke, thanks for chipping in. I had wanted to get a bottle of the 5th release, the first 'Black Art' put together by Adam Hannett, but I waited a bit too long and now it appears to be all but gone. In fact, I can still get version 4.1 but not 5.1. Too bad because I really heard a lot of good things about 5.1.

18 days ago 0

Astroke commented

@Pierre_W seems to be a glut of the 5.1 throughout Canada and as low as $250 cdn in Alberta.

18 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

Sounds like a winner! Not that smoky huh. How available is this expression?

17 days ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Hi @Alexsweden, astonishingly still quite available. About 300 Swiss francs in Zurich. Cheers!

16 days ago 0

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

I'll have to see about getting one then!

15 days ago 0

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