EYE / NOSE
Strong, dark gold. Very fruity on the nose, with pickled peaches in the foreground, accompanied by Bruichladdich's characteristic freshness. Then ripe papayas and cold melon tea. There is a very subdued acidity that makes me think of a sweetened gooseberry base. The influences of the wine are wonderful to perceive, without them even beginning to disturb or even dominate. Then, while the malt slowly heats up in your hand, comes 'Old Bottle Flavor'. You can tell that the malt has not only spent 35 years in the barrel, but also under cork for another 14 years. Spices - vanilla pulp, cloves, green pepper and freshly grated nutmeg - indicate noticeable wood influences from three and a half decades in oak. Very interesting combination, stronger than I had expected, even if not quite as tropical and fruity as the '1970'. In any case, I spend a good quarter of an hour with my nose in a glass and enjoy the beginning of this journey.
Soft, very soft. 40.1% ABV are certainly not the world at a time when (almost!) Everyone is looking for the> 60% ABV barrel strength kick. Okay, the 125th Anniversary should have a little more steam for my taste, but the bottle has been open for some time. If I could wish for something, not much, but 3/4 percentage points more would make the malt look even better. But that's the way it is with wishes and reality. Well, power is by far not everything and 35 years usually cost a lot of power, with a few exceptions. So be it. In any case, the wonderful aromas rule here! The scents from the nose are almost completely reflected in the taste, which I like fantastic. The fruits, the spicy oak, complemented by the sweetness of Turkish honey and bourbon vanilla. Never sticky, but rather a fine digestif sweetness. It is also amazing how fresh the malt looks not only on the nose but also overall. Is that an influence of the French wine finish? No musty or earthy flavors. Bitterness is only vaguely hinted at on the palate. The Laddie is just as complex as it is elegant and balanced on the palate. Exactly my thing!
FINISH / CONCLUSION
The finish is very pleasantly long, especially for a non-smoker. The malt 'tastes like', as they sometimes say. Here in the end, both the few notes and the oak influences appear most clearly to me. The sweetness remains, so that our Laddie never looks really dry or even astringent, but the oak is now spreading in the form of a strong nuttiness that makes me think of walnuts and Brazil nut kernels. Towards the end, a rather fleeting bitterness, which disappears with the aftertaste. Caught perfectly, Mr. McEwan!