A 10 Year Old 2011 Bruichladdich ‘Only Friends of Bruichladdich’ release. Matured in a Rhinns cask #36.
Appearance: Early sunset orange/lager amber. Lots of lovely thick oozy legs appear on top of a viscous film. A substantial swirl mark encircles the glass, only revealing some teardrops after a few minutes.
Nose: Salted meats, heated pebbles, coastal vegetal aromas like harbour ropes and lobster cages and a white wine grape element adding a touch of almost zesty freshness.
There’s a real natural freshness to the nose. It’s like a freshwater spring is washing over the other aromas, not diluting them at all, more adding that mineral element.
For 60% the nose carries the strength very well. If I was blind tasting I would guess at around 50%.
Palate: The ABV is way more evident on the palate. A lovely mouthfeel, oily and buttery. At first, this is one of those rare drams that I love whereby the palate is sweeter and fruitier than the nose lets on.
There’s a jammy hit of raspberries and blackberries that are completely hidden in the nose.
Following that lovely fruity delivery, upon the first sip at least, is a gigantic hit of spice, both from the ABV and flavour profile itself. White and black pepper, choice and a mild chilli tingle.
Asked meats and those coastal elements appear from the second or third sip onwards, adding a salinity to proceedings.
That dry white wine strain also whispers through the flavour profile, contributing just a touch of syrupy citrus sweetness.
It’s a palate of many layers and they all balance and complement each other nicely.
Finish: Medium to long. The chilli tingle, black pepper, berry sweetness and slight dryness linger. Sweet BBQ smoke and faint seaweed too.
Overall: A lovely dram. Looking online it’s going for nearly £500 a bottle at auction! It’s not THAT good, but I guess those prices reflect flipping rather than the liquid itself.
I really like the layers and the balance of the salinity, sweetness and smoke. The ABV, especially on the palate, is unforgiving and I love that.