Scotchvember keeps on keepin’ on at Bargain Bourbon with a review of Bruichladdich Laddie Ten.  As this is the first review I have done on this “progressive Hebridean” distillery, I’ll provide a few brief facts about this Islay gem.  Bruichladdich is located on the western portion of Islay, almost directly across the Loch Indaal from Bowmore.  Bruichladdich is a unique distillery in that they play around with all sorts of different styles of whisky-making and casking.  I do not believe I have seen a Scottish distillery that has the variety of whiskies that come out of Bruichladdich.  I am posting a link to their website, but be careful, you can get lost in cyber Bruichladdich very quickly  http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-whisky/bruichladdich/the-laddie-ten-year-old.

The Laddie Ten is one of the most widely available whiskies from Bruichladdich.  It is an unpeated single malt, meaning the barley is not smoked over a peat fire.  However, the water the whisky is made from is still very peaty, which does lend a peated character to the finished product.  The Laddie Ten is aged in 90% ex-bourbon casks and 10% ex-sherry casks before being bottled in that bright turquoise without chill filtration at 92 proof (46% abv).

On the nose, The Laddie Ten is a wonderful balance of malt, brine, salt, and peat.  There is a lot of sweet malt, surrounded by familiar sweet notes of bourbon casks, with salty brine and earthy peat rolling all around.  The palate is a backbone of earthy peat, but there is orange zest, fresh baked bread, and sweet American oak rounding out the palate nicely.  The finish is medium-long, with peat mixing in well with sweet malt, oak, and the occasional whiff of chocolate wafer.

Overall, The Laddie Ten is a wonderful, lively whisky that combines all its flavor in great balance.  Nothing overwhelms the whisky, and nothing dominates the flavor profile.  It is drinkable and balanced the whole way through.  This is a great introduction to Islay whiskies, as it drastically tones down the peat, and lets all the great flavors of a single malt Scotch whisky shine through.  My only complaint is that it often hovers around $60 for a bottle here in Boston, which is a tad pricey for a 10 year-old malt in my opinion.  That said, this is some pretty damn good whisky.  My grade: B+/A-.  Price: $50-60/750ml. This is a balanced, elegant dram that is definitely very well made, and cared for while it’s in the oak.

Just in case you need a bit of direction on the pronunciation of this wonderful distillery… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16hsejGKsNk

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