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Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1 / 1990 / 23 Year Old

Crimson Tide Part III

3 583

@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

21st Jan 2019

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    20
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The final dram in my "whine" cask exploration series, Bruichladdich's Black Arts series is the one that has the most marketing malarkey, no one but the Master Blender knows it's composition (except perhaps the guys dumping the damn barrels), incantations, magic, solstice,druids...wait I started going all Highland Park there for a moment.

Simple premise, Old regime Bruicladdich spirit (20+yrs) + put through the lens of potentially all kind of wine/fortified wine they have a their disposal , so expect some funny business, if you don't like wine casks in whisky stay far away.

Nose: Sweet, slightly acetic, red wine vinegar, apricots, cocoa powder, red currant jelly, dried prunes. Lots of sherry influence, a bit of leather, Turkish delight and marzipan . Loads of oak, melons, candle wax and fresh cut green branches.

The interplay of both sherry and wine casks is present, good French oak in use but this kind of waxy, green and sharp acidic side is permanently in effect.

Palate: Thin mouth-feel at first , then raspberry jam, thyme, fennel seeds, fresh coriander, a touch of salt and a good drizzle of molasses. In time it steers towards rye bread, roasted almond marzipan, red wine sauce, prunes in Armagnac, some dried mushrooms as well.

Finish: It lingers on the dark sherry elements, molasses, sulfur, prunes, wet oak, cloves and camphor. A bit of Campari in the finish. That quinine and bitter herb feeling. A touch of peat perhaps? There is defintely an earthy side.

Blab: You have to like this style, I personally don't think the ones I have tasted thus far live up to the hype, I find the nosing it to be the most rewarding along with the tail end of the finish, where it reminds me a bit of Macallan cask strength (the little I have had of that) at that moment.

Side note, I think this is the style of packaging they should have given to Octomore, it's something out of Black Metal album and totally unsuited to the style of whisky that it contains.

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5 comments

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@cricklewood I agree that looking at the bottle and the name you expect it to be some kind of massive peat monster. I did have a taste from a friend’s bottle, and although not what I was expecting, I quite liked it. You scored it a bit lower than I would, but not by much. Nice review, thanks.

10 months ago 0

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@BlueNote totall agree, one expects a dark, mysterious elixir and gets a rather civilized experience overall.

I only had a small sample, I might have scored it a bit higher if I could have had a couple of drams more to get my head wrapped around it but I am not sure. I did taste the most recent edition and was incredibly pleased with that, I'll post a review soon.

10 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

That bottle probably props up the price by an easy $100-200.

10 months ago 3Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@MadSingleMalt - I like Bruichladdich and think their packaging is certainly eye catching if nothing else. But being honest, it probably is a bit over the top for a bottle of whisky. Give me a simple green or brown glass bottle and a tacky old label sporting a heelan cow in tartan and I'm happy (cough . . . Ben Nevis . . . cough) smiley

I agree though, I reckon it is probably what makes their whisky just that little bit more expensive than their competitors.

10 months ago 1Who liked this?

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