It’s not like we don’t know anything about the new Bruichladdich Black Art…
The Black Art 7.1 is master distiller Adam Hannett’s third Black Art release (the first four were creations of Jim McEwan). It’s 25 years old and all distilled in 1994, the last year before the distillery closed. It’s unpeated and bottled at cask strength. And there are 12,000 bottles available.
One very important piece of missing information is the cask recipe. I guess that’s the charm of the Black Art series? It does feel a bit strange though, especially because Bruichladdich is usually all about transparency. The Black Art is the exception to the rule, I guess.
Bruichladdich Black Art 7.1 (48.4%, OB, 12.000 bts.)
Nose: Touches of cigar boxes and cassis, but also raspberry candy and ripe plums. Whiffs of sultanas too, followed by pear parts and walnut skins, as well as honeycomb. It is somewhat delicate, but rather complex and inviting. Taste: Dark and brooding fruits of the forest variety, but dried. The viscosity is admirable. Notes of cherry syrup and tobacco leaves with a hint of mint and coconut shavings, as well as a whiff of fudge and butterscotch. There’s a subtle spiciness as well. Finish: Sweet and spicy. Long.
This was released together with the Bruichladdich 1988 30 Years Rare Cask Series, so I can’t help but compare them. Both are excellent, so I guess it’s more a matter of where your preference lies: naked, bourbon matured whisky or a spirit that’s been influenced by (fortified) wine.
I however prefer the Bruichladdich 1988, which of course is also three times as expensive as the Black Art 7.1, which isn’t cheap to begin with.