During the week [starting 16th March] of toilet paper & pasta raids, I’d been in the studio. By the end of that week, I was in need of supplies and the supermarket shelves were bare. It was scary, but fear not! My sister had sent me a lockdown package with many essentials including, most importantly, two toilet rolls! Also in the pack was this whisky sample [see pic], ironically the only thing I definitely had a lot of, but gift-horse and all that. Game on!
Colour: yellowy gold. Beading test result: flat as a pancake/no bubbles, so we must be around the 40% minimum.
N: Very soft, slightly salty with a lightly toasted peatiness and a light barley oiliness. With such a soft and relaxed presentation, could this be Springbank, a tired/flat 10yo?
T: Peaty for sure. This is truly the olfactory taste of a malting barn and the copperiness from the stills. Soft-sweet delivery with a fair body [maybe this isn’t at the lowest possible abv then] with the tiniest suggestion of allium-fresh oily barley spirity heat underlying. Little action on the travel, just a straight-ahead unwavering journey. Good simple whisky overall. It’s no Springbank but I can’t pinpoint an Islay distillery that fits the bill. Maybe it’s something like a NAS Ardmore Legacy which I’ve never tried. An Cnoc also produces a lot of peated malt.
F: As expected, we’ve a soft natural smoke-peat barley-sweet finish. Reminds me most of Annandale’s Man of Swords, reduced to 43%. Really natural/untampered with whisky.
C: If not complex then certainly a competent uncomplicated if non-eventful whisky recipe. I pose my conclusions to my sister: 40-43% abc, maximum age 10yo but probably a NAS around 7 years, 100% bourbon cask-matured, peated [probably around 30ppm max], not complex but competent and sweet, so entry-level.
She tells me the abv is 50%. I’m surprised. I suggest it’s an old/tired bottle and it is – from March 2014 in fact!! I’m vindicated there but had totally forgotten about Bruichladdich as a distillery. The last time I tried The Laddie was a sample from this actual bottle, on 28th December 2015 [score: 82]. In today’s condition:
Scores 79 points