Bruichladdich 21yo (2008)
I just now realize that this is only the first Bruichladdich I’ve ever reviewed on Words of Whisky. Not that it matters. But still. Anyway, today I try the 21yo from a couple of years back. This one is matured exclusively in Oloroso casks and – at 21 years of age – was distilled way before the Mark Reynier Era of Bruichladdich.
Bruichladdich 21yo (46%, OB)
Nose: Salty seaweed and fresh citrus with a subtle influence of the oloroso casks. Nutty with caramal and cherry jam. Plenty of red fruit. Pretty sulphury, but no exactly unpleasant.
Taste: Creamy and salty. Some spices, apricots and oranges and old, damp oak as well. Gunpowder or burnt matches. Definitely sulphur. Off-putting this time. The palate is too aggressive and not properly balanced.
Finish: A bit wine-y. Rubber in the aftertaste, not many other enjoyable features. Luckily the finish is not too long.
I thought about rating this 80 or higher, but it is just too faulty to score that high. The nose is pretty good. And I normally don’t mind a bit of sulphur, but in this case it ruins a lot of the palate for me.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.