Most of the whiskies I write about are fairly good, but sometimes I try whiskies that underwhelm me, disappoint me, or just leave me totally perplexed. This Laddie is one of them. A Feis edition from a well respected distillery like Bruichladdich, should be quite good, right? Well prepare to be surprised. As I was trying to sample most of the FE 2015 bottlings I bought a nice sample of this (Thank you Steve for the share) , thinking it should be cool. I waited and brought this to a whisky night with some good whisk friends that have tried quite a few whiskies before (read : a few whisky fanatics who have 100 of whiskies in their collection, and drink daily) . We tried a few other expressions then got to this one. I poured it, sniffed it, and verified my nose was not broken that day. Had a sip, and frankly, I could not finish my dram. the others were disappointed as well, up to a point, they did not manage to finish their sample (I could not bring myself to sip more at that time). The whisky was weird, funky, unbalanced, bad if you wish. it was not what I was expecting. Maybe I was wrong? I am not a fan of the regular “Black Arts” expression, which is too winey and sweet, and messy for my taste, but this was beyond that, this was just OUT THERE. It felt unbaked, the vatting was not harmonizing, it was weird. Now Don’t get ne wrong, I am a fan of Bruichladdich, and some of their whiskies are lovely, some are superb. The Port charlottes are stunning, the 10 year old (now only available on Islay) is a great dram, as are others (organic etc), But this? Oh lord. I kept some of the sample to try later at home, and give it a seconds chance. that did not help either, but I wanted to write proper notes, and pinpoint what was not working for me. Here goes:
Nose: thick and sweet with tons of wine tannins. I’m not sure what’s inside this vatting but it’s way too sweet and winey even for me. Berries, red , black and more ripe fruit. Ripe on the verge of being overripe. Balsamic and acetone.
Palate: ouch. A nasty start. Sherry. Wine. Loads of it. But some pretty rotten sherry. Off notes. Like a dirty mop or something. I’m sorry Laddie: but this is the first thing that comes to mind . Off balance is an understatement. Once the funky stuff is gone there is a big note of fruit compute, tannins pepper and chilly. Cinnamon. More red wine. Plums.
Finish: Dry. Tannins. Plum compote.
Oh dear. Not many times I find a whisky that is not drinkable, but for me , this stuff is beyond words, something about the sherry / wine makes me want to spill this and never taste it again. Too sweet, too funky, as if the sherry has gone bad, and the red wine was left outside for too long. I know some people took a fancy to this whisky, and thought it was amazing (I got some responses on twitter from those who did, after tweeting how disappointed I was in this one). I guess our palates are quite different. At any rate, since this is my blog and my palate is my palate, my verdict is that this is a very unbalanced, quite badly constructed whisky. Sorry Jim, but I cant drink this stuff.
If for some reason you’re a fan, you can get it for about 110 quid at auction sites (bottle looks cool), or for much more at whisky shops such as the Whisky Barrel. If your palate is anything like mine, my advice : Avoid.