This Bruichladdich 12 year old is a private bottling that was bottled in 2022 but only set foot on Dutch soil a few months ago. And I had the honour of tasting it.
Thirteen years ago, a group of whisky enthusiasts purchased an exceptional cask through Bruichladdich’s cask program. It was quite a unique cask because it matured in a Rivesaltes hogshead. In case you are unfamiliar with Rivesaltes, it’s a fortified sweet dessert wine from the Roussillon region in southern France. This wine is produced in both white and red varieties. And judging by the colour of this single malt, we can conclude that this was a cask that previously contained the red variant. 😉
This is the first time I will taste a whisky that has been matured in this type of cask. Although, it is not always indicated, so I may have tried others before without knowing. However, I once tried a genever matured in a Rivesaltes cask, but that was the white wine variety and was overly sweet. So, I’m intrigued to find out how this Bruichladdich would turn out.
This Bruichladdich was bottled at a strength of 64.1% ABV.
Bruichladdich 12 year old tasting notes:
Nose: Plenty of red grapes, followed by notes of lemons and oranges. Honey and caramel syrup. Sweet red fruits, but also a whiff of nutmeg and cinnamon. With water, the citrus notes become more prominent.
Taste: Oh this is rather creamy despite its high ABV. Dangerous, ha! Oranges and dark chocolate. A little bit of oak and tobacco leaves. This is followed by spices, such as black pepper, nutmeg, and a touch of cinnamon. Water adds red fruit and honey. A hint of salt as well. The spices are now more subdued.
Finish: The finish is somewhat short, a bit dry, and bitter. Notes of oak, espresso, and cocoa. Adding water eliminates the bitterness and enhances the fruity flavour, and the finish becomes longer.
Before I tasted this, I was a bit skeptical because of the Rivesaltes cask. These types of casks are often not my thing. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was. Adding a drop of water to the whisky improved its flavour, bringing out the fruit notes more prominently.
Big thank you to Joris, for letting me try this lovely Bruichladdich!