It has taken me an entire month but eventually I have managed to carve out some time to write again. I really do enjoy writing this even if no-one actually reads anything I produce. Of course, some wonderful people actually do enjoy what I write which is amazing and surprising but primarily this is for me. The reality though is recently I haven’t had the time or mental space to give to writing but we are back and that is great.

The last time out I was looking at the new business “Cheaper by the Dram” and I said I bought 3 samples from them. This article is about one of those samples and it had to be from the distillery which started my interest in whisky Bruichladdich.

Information on the distillery is well documented on this site but we always talk about the modern ownership or the renaissance as Mark Reynier would call it. This whisky though comes from well before that having been distilled in the 1970’s and bottled at some point in the 80’s. It has then spent 3 times as long in a glass bottle before I got my hands on it through this sample bottle.

A lot has changed in that time and I am sure that will include the flavour profile of the whisky. The Bruichladdich you buy today is bottled at a high ABV with no filtering or colouring. The production levels are lower and the focus is on purely producing relative small volumes of single malt. In the 1980’s everything was different and the fashion was different to.

The whisky trends were probably different as well but perhaps not quite so colourful.

The Dram

The Bruichladdich 10 year old from the 1980’s was bottled at 43% and well that is all I know. My initial research hasn’t managed to get any kind of information on the bottles or the portfolio that was available at the time.

The same kits themselves though from Cheaper by the Dram are pretty cool. The packaging is well thought out with an information card and plastic wrapping on the bottle lid in case of accidents.

Tasting Notes

Colour – pale yellow

Nose – So fruity and soft. Lots of tinned fruit like peaches or the mixed fruit cans you got as a kid. A charred wood note as well though with sawdust and perhaps dusty.

Palate – The texture is thinner than a modern laddie but I wouldn’t say thin. Digestive biscuits and sprigs of mint. This sits with honey and vanilla as you might expect.

Finish – A short finish certainly but much spicier and prickly than the nose and palate have been. A lot of peppercorns actually with soft tinned fruit notes being drowned out by it.

Final Thoughts

A great thing to try and much better than I thought it would be. Modern storytelling would have you believe Bruichladdich was poor before the kind thoughtful artisan independent buyout. On the evidence of this sample that wouldn’t appear to have been the case 30 years ago.

If this is the character of Bruichladdich in the 1980’s I would have bought it and enjoyed it immensely. As it happens though I wasn’t born for most of it so whisky drinking wasn’t really an option.

Even in Scotland.

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