There is a huge depth and richness on initial nosing. Roll the glass through your fingers to rouse the aromas and rich, black charred oak with blackberry jam, dark chocolate, raisin, plum, elderberry and apple appear. Notes of marzipan and lemon meringue pie give sweetness and tell of the Bruichladdich DNA working with the casks. Cedar wood and brown sugar come through as the whisky opens.
The richness and vitality of the oak and the fruit is astounding. The soft orchard fruit of the spirit comes through after opening a little, sitting beautifully alongside fragrant vanilla custard. Sip again and taste the dark fruits; date, fig, raisin and chocolate, crystallised ginger and floral red rose. Impossible to define as a particular style this dram twists and changes constantly, each layer revealed adds to the mystery of how this whisky was created. Layers of honeycomb, soft fruit, praline, tobacco coconut and a sublime texture tell of its class.
Chocolate, apricot, pineapple, classic exotic fruits from well-aged Bruichladdich tell of the quality and balance of oak and spirit. The oak speaks of its quality now with brown sugar, ginger nut biscuits, toffee, orange scented caramel and a velvet tobacco finish.
There may never be an understanding of how this whisky was created but tasting it and understanding why is more important. To compare and compartmentalise this exceptionally rare and unique dram is to miss the point of a whisky that is the essence of the distiller’s instinct, passion and experience. If you must ask, you will never know.