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The Bruichladdich Eighteen




Whisky Review: The Bruichladdich Eighteen

Tasting Notes:

Scotch single malt whisky partially distilled from Isaly-grown barley, aged primarily in ex-bourbon barrels, bottled at 50% ABV, and priced at $179.99.
Golden-amber color abounds in this glass, showcasing solid leg structure and moderate viscosity.
This is very pleasant and floral in smell, with a rich, light airiness underlaid by just the slightest hints of baked bread and vanilla. A green apple and a nudge of apricot are also present.
The first thing to present itself on the palate is well-rounded, meaning flavors such as a bit of salt, a dash of vanilla, apple, and a smattering of apricot butter weave in and out without overwhelming each other. There’s a slight oak nod as well.
This finishes like the rest of it throughout this tasting—pleasant, with a nice light sweetness that carries it off over a short amount of time into a blissful memory.
The Bruichladdich Eighteen is a delightful example of higher-age cask management, pulling in elements that balance it very well. Have a bottle of this around to share with others.
The Bruichladdich Eighteen review
We review The Bruichladdich Eighteen, produced partly from Islay-grown barley and representing a new, higher-end line for this brand. (image via Bruichladdich)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whisky from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Since its reopening in 2001 following a seven-year shuttering, Scotland’s Bruichladdich distillery has carved a unique niche for itself among the Islay-based whisky makers. It’s not just the whisky that’s unique, but also the approach. Bruichladdich’s uniquenesses, which keep fans coming back, are rooted in its Islay-centric approach. The distillery strives to keep as many of its operations on the island as possible, including significant use of locally grown malt in some of its expressions and having enough warehousing to ensure all single malts are conceived, distilled, matured and bottled solely on the island.

Its whiskies are split among three different brands: Bruichladdich, an unpeated Islay single malt Scotch whisky; Port Charlotte, a heavily peated Islay single malt Scotch whisky; and Octomore, the world’s most heavily peated Scotch whisky series . The Bruichladdich line-up recently saw the addition of the new Luxury Redefined range, described as this brand’s first permanent high-age statement whiskies. Thus far, it includes an 18-year-old and a 30-year-old.

What’s in the bottle

The whisky being reviewed here, The Bruichladdich Eighteen, is partly drawn from Islay-grown barley. Bruichladdich began working with one farmer in 2004 to raise a crop of locally grown barley. This trial has expanded to include 20 farming partners today who produce over 50% of the distillery’s barley for total production.

“18 years ago, we distilled spirit from locally grown barley and our passion to diversify and champion our growing program has never wavered,” said Head Distiller Adam Hannett, at the time of this expression’s release. “Every element of The Bruichladdich Eighteen – from the specific harvest and barely varietals used, to the exact casks it has matured in – is fully traceable. At Bruichladdich Distillery, we’re committed to making delicious whisky with real provenance that benefits the community – and The Bruichladdich Eighteen is the embodiment of this ethos.”

The Bruichladdich Eighteen, in addition to Islay barley, is also distilled from Scottish mainland and organic barleys before being primarily aged in ex-bourbon casks and a small number of former Sauternes and Port casks. It is bottled at 50% ABV, is unchill-filtered, and is coloring-free. Price-wise, it clocks in at $179.99.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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