There are bad, dark yesteryears in the history of scotch. But the bleak times teach us to appreciate our current wealth, and no distillery currently offers us a greater warmth of spirit then Bruichladdich.
Founded in 1881 by three brothers Harvey, Bruichladdich became renowned for its elegant, floral and lightly peated rendition of Islay single malt. It was Robert Harvey, youngest of the three brothers, who built and installed Bruichladdich’s tall, narrow-necked stills that are thought to give its signature expression.
But the twentieth century was unkind to both the brothers Harvey and Bruichladdich. Like so many other distilleries, the founding family lost control and a series of closures, sales, repossessions and consolidations mark Bruichladdich for the next hundred years.
And then, in 2001, something magical happened. Control passed back to a local Scotsmen, Jim McEwan, and the soul of Bruichladdich was reborn in the form of “new make spirit” – what would become the Laddie Ten. And now, a decade later, we are finally privileged to taste this expression of Bruichladdich.
The Laddie Ten opens with a clear and forceful declaration of soul: this is not corporate, spreadsheet made whiskey. All the classic floral tones of Bruichladdich are here: heather, chestnut honey, primrose, and orange campion melding with a sense of the Hebridean and an underlayment of butterscotch.
The Laddie Ten is not peated and this cuts two ways. For those of you who fear being smoked out by your scotch this is not that dram. For those of you who need enough peat to make your gums bleed rest assured, Islay is not betrayed nor forgotten by the Laddie Ten. Which is to say:
The nose is amazing, but the palate takes the scotch to a whole new dimension. Harmonious, seamless, supple, smooth – these adjectives don’t come close to describing the resilience of flavor and elegant grace on display here. Nutmeg, toffee, almond and candied fruit all mingle together rising to meet the promise inherent in the nose, finishing with tradition, the savor of Islay. The effect leaves you needing a cigarette, or at least some time alone to contemplate what just happened.
To sum up, there is a reason Whiskey Advocate named the Laddie Ten Islay Single Malt of the Year: it’s f**king great scotch. I’m drinking it right now and perfectly agree.
You may ask why this offer comes now, especially if you are attending the Bruichladdich tastings at Waterford later this month. The reason: the Laddie Ten just won Whiskey Advocate’s Islay Single Malt of the Year. I was told by the powers that be that spirit would sell out immediately and be gone to places like L.A., New York, or DC and simply not be available here. I didn’t want to let that happen. I took a jump and I forcefully suggest you do the same: buy a bottle of the Laddie Ten. You will not regret it.
Bruichladdie “The Laddie Ten”
Distillery Release Price: $57.99
Sale Price: $39.99
They didn’t make a lot, and it took ten years to get here. I believe this will sell out. If it doesn’t we will be offering a small taste on this Friday. Slainte!
The Whiskey Advocate review can be found here:
We also currently have lots of other fascinating Bruichladdie drams available. In the Uber Provenance series: The Organic and the 2004 Islay Barley; in the Concepts The Black Art 2 and Fino Sherry 15; as well as Port Charlotte PC7 and Octomore 4.1. Come explore!
But also, on Friday we will be pouring a comparison of New World and Old World Burgundy Varietals. Stop in and join us!
All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number. All orders will be available at the time of purchase.
When the wine is ordered your credit card will be charged. The wine will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge. Offer is good while supplies last.
Ben Christiansen wrote this article and Tim Hansen edited it.