Cross comparison with Bruichladdich 'Edsviken', W.ID 89215 What makes the direct comparison so exciting are the almost identical frame end conditions. Two ex-bourbon barrels, almost certainly both from Buffalo Trace, 10 years full maturation, no finish. Alcohol content of the two barrel strengths each saturated with 60% ABV. Distilled in the second quarter of 2006, bottled in July 2016. Noticeable that the market is currently so washed out with 10-year-old Laddies? Not really, considering that Laddie, in order to pay salaries and secure the survival of the distillery without any capital in the hindquarters, in the mid-2000s relied heavily on selling single casks to private individuals. For example, many of the former Academy graduates purchased their own keg at the end of their time at the distillery. The then-unbelievable purchase price of £ 1,400 for the entire barrel, which is now unbelievable, included 10 years of storage on Islay. The 'free' time has expired in the meantime, the whisky has reached a certain degree of maturity. One wants to avoid additional costs, the market is booming. The owners refuse to sleep and realize their profits anything but modest. Everything done right. Ring free for the first round! Eye / nose: gold. Visually, the two, of course, undyed, Laddies are expected to be close to each other, in the bottle as in the glass, they seem almost identical. The difference is even clearer in the nose. Although both agree on a basic note, which may be called in good conscience laddietypisch - sweet, bright fruit on the one hand and fresh, warm pastry on the other hand - the specific expression, however, deviates noticeably. Vanilla have both, but while the Holstein combines grain and sweet, slightly nutty cakes, the Edsviken has more alcohol, little wonder at over 65% ABV, and the nose is more likely to be dominated by fruit notes - almost a bit vinous, I'd like mean. Palate: Even at the first tasting the Holstein looks rounder and more pleasing, whereas the Edsviken has significantly more corners and edges. In any case, the 62.7% ABV of the Holstein also have a much softer effect on the tongue than the Swede and develop a very interesting fruit note, which is sweet and at the same time not easy to substantiate. Cassis is recognizable and also pulls into the finish. But there are other associations. Viellecht, so we thought, most likely as if you had several English wine gum in the mouth at the same time, the dark ones (Cassis!) But in any case with it. Delicious. The Edsviken, however, looks younger, more impetuous. A not uninteresting opponent also for the new, strong drinking, Laddie 10 2nd. Ed. and its, due to storage, very clear wine influences. The Holstein, however, looks a lot more mature and harmonious, he could be smooth several years older than his Swedish counterpart. How does the difference come about? Hard to say. Wood is just a natural product, and ten years can be a long time. However, one reason could also be that the Holstein barrel burned out a bit more, that is 'gecharred'. This would also fit the slight smoke, which I think the Holstein. Finish / Conclusion: In both cases a nice, unexpectedly long finish. The Holstein shines again with the already familiar from the palate cassis note. Both malts are similar and at the same time very different. The cross comparison makes the decisive influence that individual barrels have on the final product once again impressively clear.