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A Bruichladdich Visit

The nice part about having WhiskyFest in town is that all the major players fly in for the event and they end up coming by the store.  On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Simon from Bruichladdich for some updates on their new whisky agenda.  The exciting part about Bruichladdich's new direction is its precision.  No more crazy, barrel-enhanced one offs.  No more 48 expression collection.  No more peated Bruichladdich, unpeated Bruichladdich.  There's now an all-encompassing idea and they're ready to consolidate.  From now on, no more Rocks, Waves, Peat.  We'll now have the Organic, the Classic, and Port Charlotte without designations or age statements.  The Organic is the everyday version of the vintage organics we've seen for the last year.  It will be a blend of 5, 6, and 7 year old whiskies, all from organic barley.  The Classic Laddie is a blend of 5, 6, 19, and 20 year old whiskies and will be a stable version of the Resurrection Dram.  No more vintages there either.  Also, no more PC7, PC8, PC9!  There's just Port Charlotte now.  The peated dram from Bruichladdich is going to retail for about $60 and is going to be a major competitor for Lagavulin 16 and Ardbeg Uigeadail.  This stuff is incredibly balanced with sweet Bourbon cask vanilla and integrated peat smoke. I was in love instantly.  Exciting!!  More Octomore on the way as well and this new batch is totally mindblowing.  It tastes like a 45% lightly peated malt, but it's actually a 60%, 150+ ppm explosion.  That's due to their amazing stills.

If you ask Simon, or even Jim for that matter, they'll tell you that the stills at Bruichladdich impact the most important element of their whisky's character.  The delicate, elegant nature of their new make comes from the small lyne arm of the Lomand still ("Ugly Betty") that makes sure only the lightest of alcohols make it into the heart cut.  There's no better example of this blithe vibrancy than their new Botanist Gin.  I've been waiting for almost a year to get this in the States and it's finally about to land!

Made with a large selection of Islay herbs and botanicals, the new Botanist Gin should take the American market by storm.  Beautiful concentration of herbal flavor, along with a smooth, supple palate that makes for one of the easiest gin drinks I've ever had.  Simon insists that the Bruichladdich stills have everything to do with this and I know Jim would agree.  The new Bruichladdich products are due to hit in a few weeks along with our exclusive Chenin Blanc cask!  Can't wait for people to try these.  Tasting them makes me realize how much I love this distillery and everything they're about.

-David Driscoll