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 Still – 50.4% ABV
On 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.
Plums (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 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!).
A 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.
Sweet 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!