Category Archives: Bruichladdich

Rest and Be Thankful Whisky Co.’s single Sauternes cask Octomore, Cask # 16746


Region – Islay – ABV – 63.8% – now sold out but was $228.

A bit of a rarity here – an independently bottled single cask of Octomore which was bottled at 6 years of age at the nice ABV of 63.8%.

Being that Comus 4.2 (Bruichladdich’s 5yo Sauternes cask matured Octomore) was easily my favorite Octomore (still to this date), when I saw this bottling released, I had to have one.

The difficult part for me was in purchasing a bottling from an independent bottler I was not familiar with.  The packaging seemed nice enough and, hey, single cask Octomore? I had to give them a go, right?!

What was the result you may ask?:

On the nose — A fair amount of peat on this one (it is peated to 167 ppm). Not too overwhelming though.  Some bicycle inner-tubes come across at first but this is backed crushed almonds as well as raw filberts.

Rest and Be Thankful Octomore SauternesPear drops, too. Proper English scones. Sun dried water balloons. With water I detect some hot cinnamon, too.

In the mouth — Without water it’s incredibly hot and tight with obvious pear and more sun dried water balloon notes.

Water is needed with this one.

Rest and Be Thankful Octomore Sauternes

With water it’s got a great and oily mouthfeel. Quite sweety and peaty with more focus on the peaty. It’s quite phenolic. Think burning o-rings (viton as well as silicon), and new nitrile gloves.

Some tropical fruits here, too. Think passion fruit and persimmon, and a touch of papaya and even a little guava.

Finish — Long and peaty with hints of marzipan, lemons and even a little slivovitz.

In sum — Not sure if it could have used less or more time in the cask.  I never do score but if I were to compare this to Octomore Comus, and Comus were a 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10), this would be a 7. Defo one for colder weather and one to share with friends.


Octomore Feis Ile 2014 bottling will blow your mind!!


Region – Islay – 69.5% ABV – Price?? – a whole bunch of ££ but you can find this bottle for even more ££ on various auction websites.


While I’ve found myself in bonnie Scotland many a time now, I have yet to get my rear-end over there during the Feis Ile festival that happens every year at the end of May.  Imagine nine days devoted to the malts of Islay, on Islay and each distillery releasing a special bottling for the festival.

Sounds like a wee Bit o’Honey Heaven.  Thankfully, my good friend Matt L ventures out there every year and was kind enough to grab me a few festival bottles.

While I wanted a bottle from each distillery A) bottles are often limited to one per person and B) I don’t want to overload Matt with all of my requests and C) if I spend TOO much money, my wife will give me a “what for” that I’d never forget or recover from.

I had to be really choosey about which bottles to get so some investigation was in order.  I found out that Bruichladdich’s Feis Ile bottling just so happened to be an Octomore.  Once I found out this little detail, I knew I had to get one of those.  However, what I did not know was that this was a quadruple distilled Octomore.

Quad-distilling the spirit kicked the ABV up to insane heights!  After 7 years in first fill oloroso casks, the ABV ended up at 69.5%!  Sweet Fancy Moses!!  Now I was even more excited.  Word on the street was it was so powerful it could bring a tear to a man’s eye.  Matt asked me, “are you sure you want me to get you a bottle?”

How could one *not* want to taste this juice after hearing of the hurt it could inflict on those that dare drink it?!

IMG_4888Thanks to Matt’s good help and to the over-seas shipping gods, I am now the owner of some of those most powerful whisky ever produced on Islay.  Peated to 167ppm, quadruple distilled, matured for 7 years in oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 69.5% ABV… let’s see how this young lady is (and if I survive her).

On the nose Well hello yourself, little lady!  She’s both embracingly sweet and warmingly peat in the same lil’ sniff.

6a00d8341c571453ef0133eef5da66970b-320wiShe is a bag of pork rinds in hand with plastic bag to boot.

A host of cut lemons and ground green peppercorns over a plate of fresh shaved fennel, you are young miss!  “Pour some sugar agave on me and wrap me up in chilies” (to the tune of that crap ass Def Lepard song).

this-spinal-tap-movie-quotes-54419“Your body fits me like a fig skin tuxedo, I want to sink you with my pink torpedo” (to the tune of one of the best Spinal Tap songs ever).

You’re a really wild one.  I’m’a taste you now. (plus, I’m done referring to you as a person.  It’s sort of perverse sounding and I think I my have lost some readers along the way).

dune2On the mouth Ash trays and all things drying (alcohol, salt, hot air, dry-dry sherry, drier than Oloroso dry sherry, Desert Planet, Arrakis).

Must take another sip.  Now that my mouth has a chance to realize what’s happening, it’s starting to react and understand what exactly is happening in it right now.

97960-131216-penguinLet the laundry list begin:  Medium oils, very sherried but somehow not a sherry bomb, dried and sugared dates, cracked oat bran, new rubber umbrella (a la from the closet of The Penguin), chili powder with hints cooked, un-spiced pumpkin.

All in all, for 69.5% ABV, it’s nice to know that I’m not dead (yet).

Finish Long and now with hints of menthol and a bowl of those dried and sugared dates I tasted.

In sum   I love the size of Bruichladdich’s balls.

In this day of sought after, highly up-sellable, Feis Ile bottlings, Bruichladdich dared to release one that I would have thought many would be both afraid to buy and afraid to post on auction sites.  69.5% ABV, Quadruple distilled 7yo juice?!  I mean, come on…

Here’s the thing.  It sold out.  Heck, I bought a bottle (Thanks again to my buddy Matt).  It’s being sold on auction sites, too.

My hope is that these bottles do terribly on these auction sites.  Dudes, stop trying to make money and drink the juice because, I’ll tell you, it’s damn good.  Yes, you may lose the ability to reproduce after a dram or two but hey… it’s… ummm… Ok, I have nothing after that comment.  But if you sell your bottle, you’re missing out on good whisky.  For those that buy a bottle on auction, open it and do so immediately.  Open and and drink it with lots of friends.  You’ll be happy you did.

Two whiskies from Bruichladdich that I’ve been meaning to review since… 2010!


For the most part, I try not to be a slacker.  In fact, I am a real go-get-em, gung-ho guy with a ton of sticktoitiveness.  For the most part that is…

Somehow, someway, I’ve been sitting on a few samples from Bruichladdich (as well as samples from a few other distilleries) for quite a while now.  And by “quite a while” I mean like 2 or 3 years.  That’s a long time, right?  Right.  No better time than the present to review them though, right?  Right.

So what do we have today?  Firstly, we have “Redder Still;” part of the Blacker/Golder/Redder series from the lads and lasses at laddie.  Second is a 1992 (distilled in 1992, that is) sherry release from them – the Fino Cask.

Redder Still is matured in Château Lafleur Pomerol wine casks and the Fino Cask is matured in, well, Fino casks.  The former is bottled at 50.4% ABV (with 4000 bottles released) and the Fino was bottled at 46% ABV – 6000 bottles in that release.

Here are my thoughts on these two:

Bruichladdich Redder StillBruichladdich Redder Still – 50.4% ABV

Bruichladdich Redder StillOn the nose  My immediate impression is that of paraffin wax and red wine gums.

Incredibly soft on the nose. If I could apply an attribute to this nose that was not in the realm of scents, I would say this noses like a cotton ball.

Salted and ground mustard seed meet lager beer.  Quite malty.

Am I detecting smoke here?  I think so.

Not very winey at all considering this was matured in Château Lafleur (Pomerol, red wine cask – nothing to do with Fleur Delacour, mind you) casks.  Really soft peat — looking for the wine notes but, none here really.  Not yet.

Wait a sec, red currant jams and cracked black pepper.  Moving on because this smells yummy and I want to taste now.

On the mouth Quite sweet upfront.  Sugary sweet, in fact.  Oily moth feel with an effervescence toward the back and sides of the tongue.

Bruichladdich Redder StillPlums (prunes, too! Elderly plums, as it were) and smoke and more wine gums and peppery yet all of this is not forceful in anyway.

Much more winey after a few sips but is still very much whisky.  Smoke is present in the mouth and it gets quite drying as we get to the finish.

Finish Short… a bit abrupt.

In sum Compared to the *AMAZING* Blacker Still, this pales. Taken out of that family of Blacker/Golder/Redder, the Redder Still is a nice-nosed whisky!  I quite enjoy it actually.  The flavors work well together too however they’re a bit like a boy scared to ask a girl to hold his hand.  I feel this whisky should man up a bit in the flavor impact department but it does not.

Thinking back to that nose though… yum, yum, yum!

Bruichladdich Fino SherryBruichladdich 1992 Fino Cask – 46% ABV

On the nose  Quite noticeably a Bruichladdich with a salty coastal element that’s reminiscent of their old 90’s 15yo.

Noses of yellow chilis and the sweetness of Scotch Bonnet peppers (before you bite into one and it burns your dad gum head off!).

Bruichladdich Fino SherryA touch of sulfur and turmeric.  I think this is the first time I smelled Deviled Eggs in a whisky!  Guess what, it’s subtleness work here!

Some damp cardboard and sugared papaya (fresh, not dried).  Soft black licorice.

On the mouth Wow, the fino influence is right there and pretty dang lovely.  Nutty, very nutty.  Salted almond and pecan, fig paste and dried banana.

Anise seed, black licorice (again, though, salted this time), window putty.

At 46% it has enough attack to it as well as nice oils allowing for a good mouthfeel.

Bruichladdich Fino SherrySweet pecan pie and black strap molasses (treacle for the Brits out there).  Quite a satisfying whisky so far!

Finish Increasing sherried goodness, melted caramel and a touch of rum cake.

In sum This is one fine Bruichladdich!  the scent, flavors, mouthfeel, finish, etc… all works out.  Very nicely balanced with the sweet, salty, slight pepper.  Very much a dessert whisky.  Worth you seeking out, in my opinion!


Two Bruichladdich distillery-only “Valinch” bottlings. One is sublime, the other is like drinking a dead muskrat.


And so it goes with single casks; and so it goes with whisky in general… While many whiskies can be average to really good (in the “non-point-based” scale system or, the “how-was-the-overall-experience?” system) some can also be great, amazing, etc… and every now and again, life changing.

There are also, from time to time, some amazingly bad whiskies out there.

Today I am reviewing two Bruichladdichs and these whiskies are so polar opposite, I thought it’d be great for them to share blog-post space.

Before moving forward, I must say that I have a particular devotion to Bruichladdich.  I am so in love with their spirit and their evolving story is something of great interest to me.  Also, The Laddie Ten is currently my #1 go-to whisky these days.  I consider it to be, perhaps, the best 10yo whisky on the market.  Period.

So, let’s start off with the really-really BAD Bruichladdich.  It’s called “Coming of Age” and it is one that I got in August of 2011.

Bruichladdich-Coming-of-ageBruichladdich Coming of Age “valinch” bottling.  58.7% ABV – Palo Cortado cask, 9yo

On the nose –  A drying, yet previously soaked, coffee filter filled with last week’s, and now moldy, Luizianne coffee.

Bruichladdich-1The musk of a feral ferret that has both the mange and rabies.  Also like smelling chocolate covered death.  Horrific from the get-go and magnificently so.

Seriously, I never nosed a such a bad smelling whisky, ever.   Yet like being unable to look away from a train wreck, I can’t stop nosing it.  “It can’t be *that* bad, can it?!” asks me. “Yes, yes it can” I reply.

Bruichladdich-2On the mouth –  This is like licking a blood soaked rusty prison shiv.  I feel like my blood might mix in.  It’s sort of scary.

Flat root beer meets flat cola meets gauze pads loaded with browned and dried iodine and blood.

Hey, great mouthfeel!

Bruichladdich-3My mouth is coated with flavors of a five pound bag of dead mice.  Chicory galore and more coffee (albeit OLD coffee).

Finish – Why won’t it stop.  It’s endless and surely taking years off of my life.

In sum – The best balanced worst whisky I’ve ever had.  Plain and simple.  Much like that dead rodent in the walls of your office, this is a conversation piece.  I highly recommend you get a bottle if you can find one!

Port-charlotte-predictionPort Charlotte Prediction “valinch” bottling.  63.5% ABV – 9yo (wine finished? Not enough info on the bottle.)

Bruichladdich-4On the nose –  Milk chocolate and warm milk drenched digestive cookies.  This was quickly followed everything very vegetal including celery with celery salt and freshly snapped dandelion stems.

Light white wine-like notes mixed with malt and LOTS of it.  This is more like a heavily peated Bruichladdich than a lightly peated Port Charlotte (if you catch my meaning).

The  final sniff test offers up some lime popsicles.  Yum!

Bruichladdich-5On the mouth –  Much peatier than the nose offered me.  White grapes and a shaker of pepper.  Other than this, very similar to the nose.  Overly enjoyable.

Elegance without being delicate.  Like drinking a female body builder (that still looks like a lady).

Great mouthfeel.  Very much one of the things I look for in a whisky.

Finish – Long and peppery and sweet and like a super treat

In sum – When it comes to the peaty treats, this is what I look for in a whisky.  It’s got everything.

I pour this only on special occasion and today’s special occasion was comparing it to the abortion that was the “Coming of Age” Valinch.’s review of the “Coming of Age” death-whisky is much more flattering than mine…

Bruichladdich’s, now famous, Diamond Jubilee, Punk Islay, Sex Pistols, Valich, distillery only bottling. (That’s the end of the commas. Promise.)


Islay region – 50%ABV – 50ml bottle – Distillery only and sold out within a day or two.

Back in April of this year (or last year if you’re on the Hebrew calendar), you might remember that I started a little series called “Islay Distilleries Explained Through Rock and Roll Comparisons.”  The first in that series was my comparison of Bruichladdich to the Sex Pistols.  Basically dubbing them “The Punk Islay.”

Well, it would seem that Bruichladdich really took to that comparison as they used the idea for their bottling for the Queen’s Jubilee.  A 20yo Bruichladdich, Cask 516/R02.

I am quite honored that they the took idea as far as they did.  Cheers ‘laddies!

G-d Save the Queen!

The funny thing about this bottling is that I had no idea it was happening.  My friend Stephen (of Malt Impostor fame) just happen to be on Islay at the time Bruichladdich released this bottling and he decided to pick me up a bottle as a gift.  Kissmet.  Thank you Stephen.

Stephen also picked himself up a bottle and was nice enough to share a sample with me.  Thank you again, good sir!

On the nose  Bright and very rich red fruits mixed with bow rosin, old wood and what I’d swear is soy sauce.

Hints of pencil erasers and rum soaked golden raisins (verging on store-bought tiramisu).

Quite unique from the new “Laddie Ten” story.  It’s a 20yo whisky so its obviously from older stock but there’s also some cask trickery in here adding to both the complexity of the nose and the balance in the initial scent profile.

Can you guess that I’m digging the nose?

On the mouth Presto-chango, wine cask influence here for sure.  You silly cask, you didn’t tell me anything about all of this on the nose!

Red licorice, tannic, dry red table wine.

I need to say that the mouthfeel is ooey and mouth-watering.  There, I said it.

Somewhat reminiscent of the Black Art II with the red fruits, wine influence, etc… no detection of new wood like I got in that one though…

Finish Spicy red wine, tannic and burnt sugar (lasting burnt sugar).

In sum The nose told me, for the most part, Ex-Bourbon and the initial flavor told me wine.  It’s like there’s two different whiskies here.  Two stories.

The cask number is “516/R02” and an educated guess would tell me the “R02” means that this 20yo, back in 2002, was re-racked into a wine cask (“R” for re-racking and “02” for 2002).  Sadly, the bottle doesn’t tell me much more than the cask number.

While I loved the nose and enjoyed the overall flavor profile, the two together seem off balance.  This said, I would never, NEVER say no to another dram of this juice.