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Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012
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RRP price £59.95
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Bruichladdich created its Islay Barley series to showcase terroir in its whisky, so this is a single malt with a sense of place! Growing barley on Islay is no small feat, with torrential rain, Atlantic storms, and even hungry geese all standing in the way of the higher yields you’ll find on the Scottish mainland. This is the 2012 vintage, made with unpeated barley harvested from eight western and central Islay farms in 2011.
Three quarters of the whisky was matured in first-fill American whiskey casks, while the rest was aged in ex-French wine casks, before being bottled up at a hearty 50% ABV. The distillery (known for its unpeated expressions) has been key in encouraging Islay farmers to grow their own barley – where there was just one farm back in 2004, in 2020 there were 19! It’s a rather honeyed, gently creamy, fruity whisky, with just a smidge of that savoury coastal influence making an appearance.
Floral vanilla orchid, creamy coconut, pear skin, orange chocolate, and sea-washed pebbles
Peaches and cream, nutty brown bread, and porridge sprinkled with brown sugar, with pinches of salt underneath
Cantaloupe sweetness lingers with a dusting of cocoa, oak spiciness, and salted caramel