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Some distilleries tend to put an emphasis on barley, and Bruichladdich is one of them. I don’t know why this trend isn’t more widespread within the whisky industry, but it certainly should be. I love that Bruichladdich advertises some of its products based on their selection of barley. I’ve yet to try the Islay Barley release, so I’ll start with the PC Scottish Barley, which is “heavily peated” at 40 ppm. The packaging even goes so far as to mention of a specific farm from which some of the barley was bought. I don’t know the percentages or details, and I don’t really care. I don’t make the stuff, but I do appreciate the fact that it is advertised as domestic barley of a certain quality. Their website touts “raw ingredients matter.” Well said.
Nose: Peat and cereal. Nice, bold smokiness. Fresh barley, big hay, wet grass, vanilla, light honey, apples, pears, peach, citrus rind, ginger, and something like ginseng. A bit of alcoholic bite, reminding us of the healthy 50% abv. Youthful and vibrant.
Palate: An ashy/medicinal greeting that is quickly tempered by a lovely honey note. The smoke here is strong and intense. Coastal spices come in next. Big salt and white pepper.
Finish: Strong, bold smoke that is both delicious and consistent. Bacon, ash, charred oak, and honey round it out. Salt, cereal, fuzzy peach candy and faint pear linger.
This is a fun cracker of a whisky. The cereal notes stand out, with a lovely barley flavour that could only be Bruichladdich. The intensity is reminiscent of the Laph 10. I also like the vibrant coastal notes, which are evocative of OP12. That peach candy note is interesting too, although I can’t think of another whisky to compare it to. These things all combine to give us quite a distinctive and lively whisky that’s definitely a solid addition to the cabinet. A precocious and brazen little Islay rascal.