The Brühler Whiskyhaus launched three South Islay bottlings in autumn 2021, all of which refer to the distillery with the year 1816. And all three have elegant zombies on the label, which is sure to divide. At 12 years of age, this is the youngest and lightest bottling of the Zombie Trio, it was finished in the Palo Cortado barrel, which should ensure rather dry aromas.
Here, too, there is a wonderful smoke on the nose that is not stinky, but rather strongly woody and ashy. Here, too, there is still glowing embers under the ashes. Then there are also fruits, cherries and bananas, maybe a little peach. This creates a nice aroma that you want to sniff at for a long time. The aroma is more fruity than that of the 21 year old Zombie Lady, who has more dry wood tones. The 13-year-old Friends of ADOS bottling from this series has a touch more smoke. The 12 year old Zombie Man has probably the most classic smoke of the three 1816s.
The alcohol is strong but not bothersome, it works wonderfully without water. The taste is dry and smoky, fruits come a little under the smoke and are mushy, concentrated. The mouthfeel is oily and sweet - but the whisky is dry, has smoke, wood and nutshells. The Islay is also classic in taste. A cough drop with menthol, cherry and cassis is added to the smoke.
The taste of the 13-year-old 1816 Friends of ADOS is sweeter with more cough syrup and malt. And the 21-year-old lady is dry and woody with a touch of plum jam. In fact, the 12-year-old is the fruitiest and most powerful of the three 1816s.
Of course, the smoke stays long and strong in the mouth. There is also some wood, the finish is dry but not astringent.
In fact, the 12 year old is the most classic of the three zombie lagavulins. With strong alcohol it is very present, nice and smoky and also has a few wrinkled plums on the fruit side. But he's not cute.
The three 1816s are a great series with different characters - even if they are clearly lagavulins. Maybe I like the 12 year old best? But I'm not sure. The 21-year-old lady is wonderful, but in the end she was much too expensive at originally € 269. As a Friends of ADOS bottling, the 13-year-old cost 90 €, the 12-year-old 95 €, which would have (been) at least worth considering. All three whiskys are strong bottlings that are well finished without the casks dominating the character too much. You can rely on the smoky whiskys from Marco Bonn!