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Bruichladdich PHD 135 Feis 2016

Too. Much. Oak.

0 1983

@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

7th Sep 2016

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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.

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19 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

wow...30 litre bottles! That must have been a sight to see!

8 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Including the weight of the bottles that must be over 30kg! How did they pour them?

8 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I'm a bit confused. Were they pouring from 30 litre bottles of the 25 year old? or the 15 year old that you reviewed?

8 months ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

@BlueNote it was two 30 litre bottles of the 25 year old Yellow Submarine that were being passed around. The 15 that I reviewed did not get that much attention.

8 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

any chance you have a picture of the bottles?

8 months ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

@Nozinan Actually I do. Let me post it once I get back to work. It's on my portable hard disc.

8 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Looking forward to it... 30 L is something like a 10-20 year supply of whisky for me...

8 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

It would be nice to see a regular size bottle beside it for scale.

8 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I think it would be nice to see a regular bottle of it for SALE

8 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Are you talking about 3.0 litre bottles here not 30.0 litre bottles? It seems to me it would be very difficult to pass around a 30 litre bottle. That one on the bar doesn't look like it is much more than 4 times as big as the 70cl bottles. I could be wrong, but 30 litre bottles seem very unlikely if they were being passed around and poured. At a weight of around 30 kilos even just carrying one would be difficult. Please clarify @MaltActivist.

8 months ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

@BlueNote I think I may have been super excited when remembering this bottle. Now that I see the picture it doesn't seem that big. On the day it looked 10 stories high, I promise. If I rack my brains chances are this is a five litre bottle. I think that makes more sense.

But I tell you. On the day it looked like a behemoth.

8 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@MaltActivist I can imagine if someone was pouring me drams of 25 year old malt from a large bottle I would probably be pretty excited too. We are heading back over next spring. I'll see if there is still a taste of that one available. If so, I'll have one for @Nozinan too. Thanks for clearing that up. Cheers.

8 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Maltactivist I don't care if it's not a 30 L bottle. That is still one IMPRESSIVE Bottle.

I've seen a huge similarly sized JW Black. So what's really impressive and compliments the photo is your description of the contents.

Cheers!

8 months ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

"Suddenly, the great beast appeared before me. I tell you he was ten stories high if he was a foot. As if sensing my presence, he let out a great bellow. I said, "Easy, big fella!"

George Costanza

8 months ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Nice one, OLJas. Who could forget Costanza: Marine Biologist, Architect, Hand Model, and more. And let's not forget Art Vandelay, Importer/Exporter.

8 months ago 0

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