Bruichladdich ‘The Ternary Project’

Especially for this year’s April fool’s day, Bruichladdich are releasing the first of a series of experiments (really, this is no hoax) . they have shared the following info:

“The Ternary Project is the first in a series of revitalised small-batch experiments released from Bruichladdich Distillery. Taken from the inner workings of our Head Distiller’s sample room, these non-conformist spirits are revealed for curiosity’s sake. This Ternary Project, meaning to consist or involve three parts, pays homage to a time in our distillery’s past when we refuted the practice of distilling one homogenised malt type. Combining our three most recognised single malts, this is three vintages of three spirit types, matured in three classes of casks.”

As the name suggests (“Ternary”) the spirit in the vatting is made from all three distillate types :

30% Bruichladdich single malt : Unpeated Bruichladdich spirit, distilled before the distillery’s closure and eventual renaissance, was first filled into 2nd fill ex-bourbon hogsheads before being recasked into French red wine casks, then Pedro Ximinez sherry butts from Fernando De Castilla.

40% Port Charlotte single malt : This heavily peated Port Charlotte spirit, distilled soon after the distillery’s renaissance, was filled into a combination of 1st fill bourbon barrels, 1st fill Oloroso sherry casks and 1st fill Virgin Oak.

30% Octomore single malt : Octomore super heavily peated single malt, distilled in 2008, filled into Sauternes, French Mourvedres, Austrian Sweet Wines, ex-Amarone and bourbon casks.

A very interesting vatting with some old Bruichladdich stock, this is quite promising Isn’t it? The whisky itself is going on sale for £275 , and you have to enter a ballot to get some.

Bruichladdich ‘The Ternary Project’ , NAS, 52.1 %, Available Online

Nose: Lovely smoke of the PC and Octomore on entry, with a sweet touch of dried fruit and rich treacle, along with black tea leaves and cigar humidors, quite somber with dirty earth, some mossy notes, old dunnage warehouses, peat, and some ash along vanilla ice cream topped with thick dried fruit compote, lapsang tea, and leather. Not lactic as one could expect, with the PC/Octomore giving the tone, but balanced out by the Laddi malt. Complex, and multi-layered. With water some citrus fruit is revealed, mostly orange peel and more soot with a fruity touch are also showing.

Palate: Big entry with an avalanche of peat, black pepper spices, and a lot of dried fruit again: fig, sultana, and date with more of the dark tea, bitter ash, chocolate and maybe a hint of cherries as well. the smoke is everywhere, alongside a nice sweetness, with a touch of toasted oak, gluhwein and some wine tannins as well, bitter sweet, and complex as well on the palate. Very harmonic.

Finish : Very long with lots of Peat ashes, dried fruit, chocolate, lapsang tea, sweet wine, earth, spent cigar.

Conclusion: More balanced than Octomore and PCs, and more harmonic than plain old laddie, it brings together all the goodness from the 3 worlds of malt, with a very nice balance. Of course, the PC and Octomore push towards the smoky, tobacco, and earthy/sooty profile, but are nicely balanced out by the unpeated spirit. Very good Vattin work on Adam H.’s side. Loving it. Excellent stuff. A bit expensive, but I supposed it’s got some older malt inside (from before the distillery was resurrected). If you can afford it, and win the ballot, get one, or even better – get two. Certainly one of the better Expressions from this distillery in recent years.

Highly recommended.

Score: 90/100

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