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If you're into dancing and drinking whisky at the same time then I highly recommend visiting Bruichladdich's open day during the Islay Whisky Festival.
Food trucks. Multiple bars. Live band. And over 300 dancing people at any given time. It's an atmosphere hard to beat. Everyone's having the time of their life.
Including us as we strolled in after a tasting at Ardbeg. After grabbing some much needed pizza we manhandled our way to the back of the distillery premises where the makeshift bars had been set up.
Along with this years' official Feis bottle there were two more Laddies on the menu. The 2006 and 2008 Islay Grown both terroir whiskies from local processes. Both quite decent. However, the highlight of the day was the auction of two bottles of the 25 year old Yellow Submarine. Because once the auction was over they brought two more 30 litre bottles and proceeded to freely pour it out to an eager crowd. Mighty generous if you ask me.
After shamelessly going back for seconds (and it might have been thirds, too) I settled down at one of the picnic tables to sample this particular offering. This is a fifteen year old vatting of bourbon and wine casks with a virgin oak finish. It proudly states Progressive Hebridean Distillers - PHD - on it's side followed by the age of the distillery : 135 (years). Hence, known as the Bruichladdich _PHD 135
My sample is from an open bottle (one of 1881) and served at 50% ABV
Quite sweet. Tangerines. Sweet melon. Vanilla. Cookie dough. It's a touch floral. Some light honey. Poached red apples. At first there's a hint of oak but which then starts to become quite prominent. White raisins. Lemon custard. Coffee cake. Not bad.
Ooooh. Oak. Maybe too much. Cinnamon. Very drying. Over brewed green tea. I'm not a huge fan of that taste profile, if I am to be completely honest. Ginger. Spice of an uncertain nature. Now more sweeter mid-palate. Dry honey. Melon. Kinder Eggs. Small oranges. Maybe some papaya. The over-oak prevents it from being very good.
Medium long. Quite drying. That oak again. That strong green tea. Again. My least favourite part.
What can I say? It's not an entirely bad whisky. I mean I wouldn't call it lacklustre but it certainly doesn't have the to send your tastebuds into overdrive. And I think it has to do with that damned oak. Not sure if the virgin oak is the culprit or it's a few extra years too old. I guess we'll never know.