Bruichladdich Announces Release Of Islay Barley 2012

By Robert Ham / February 25, 2021

Bruichladdich, the Scottish distillers that have been in operation for the better part of 140 years, recently announced their latest release: Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012.

This eight year old, unpeated single malt whisky was produced using barley grown by a group of eight farmers from across the island of Islay and matured in a combination of first-fill American oak barrels and French wine casks. The new expression replaces the distiller’s 2011 release, which was part of their ongoing barley exploration range.

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012 (image via Bruichladdich)

“The components at work in this whisky come together to tell the story of where this whisky is from,” Bruichladdich’s head distiller Adam Hannett said, in a prepared statement. “It speaks of its place in the world with honesty and openness – Islay grown barley, Islay distillation, and Islay maturation. There’s honesty and pride at the heart of this single malt.”

Since Bruichladdich was resurrected as a brand in 2001, the distillers have been working with farmers throughout Islay, encouraging them to grow malting barley. An effort that started with one farm in 2004 has grown to 19 farms in 2020, which supplies nearly half of the distillery’s barley needs. The barley used for this new release was grown in 2011.

The 50% ABV Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012 is available now through the distillery’s website and will be on the shelves at specialist retailers starting this month with an SRP of £55 (about $76 USD). Official tasting notes are below.

  • Color – Pale straw.
  • Taste – The texture and mouthfeel for a young whisky is a testament to the slow careful distillation and the quality of the Islay-grown barley. Refined and complex on the palate, the sleekness carries the fruit, cereal, and oak notes in succession as the flavours develop and deepen on the palate. The distillery character – the fruit and floral style are immediate and distinctive. The creaminess and the notes of porridge and rice pudding are malty and rich with brown sugar and dry straw. The fruit notes of pear, melon, and orange wrap around toffee and fudge sweetness, combining beautifully.
  • Nose – Delicate, light, floral notes and a creamy vanilla with rich, floral honey rise from the glass. Kiwi, melon, coconut, and ripe pear freshness combine beautifully into a fruity citrus style to provide that zesty, sweet signature of the Islay grain and the slow trickle distillation. Breathe a little deeper and the hint of spice from the combination of French and American oak gives a little highlight to the fruit. Be lead into the wonderful depth and sweetness, by the toffee and chocolate notes from the oak. With time more dimensions of this whisky are revealed, a dry grass and crushed cereal note. Then that distinctive fresh sea salt tang.
  • Finish – The finish is a salty sea breeze with lingering hints of the charred oak, sweet salty caramel, and brown sugar.