The Fisherman’s Retreat, a restaurant, bar events venue and whisky shop in England, must have some whisky mad owners and employees, as they’ve just released their sixth whisky. They certainly made use of Bruichladdich’s cask program back in the day, as this is already their fourth release from that Islay distillery.
I’ve previously tasted their Port Charlotte, which was disguised as a Bruichladdich and turned out to be rather good. This time around they’ve bottled a proper (unpeated) Bruichladdich—with a twist. It matured in a cask that formerly held Rivesaltes, a naturally sweet, fortified wine made in the Languedoc-Rousillon wine region in France.
Nose: Feels a little restrained at first. A touch of minerals and pebbles, but then I finally get notes of plums, sugary porridge, damp wood and apple sauce—even a bit of burlap. Water brings out sweet barley, dark honey and a subtle floral influence. Taste: The palate is quite oily and offers a nice interplay between saltiness and sweetness. It’s has a rather old school feel to it, with raw notes of heather, bandaids and barley, as well as orris root and pickled lemons. Finish: More of the above. Long.
The Rivesaltes cask sure has managed to restrain itself, as this is rather classic, naked Laddie with only a subtle influence from this fortified wine. Not the most rich whisky, but complex, very moreish and the opposite of boring.