This review is being published simultaneously with Michael Kravitz’s at Diving for Pearls. Michael was the source of the sample. As always, we have not discussed our notes or score ahead of publishing the reviews. Once I’ve woken up and had a cup of tea I’ll post the link to his review here. (And here it is.)
I’m not quite sure where “The Organic” falls in Bruichladdich’s welter of experimental and one-off releases. As per the sample label this was bottled in early 2013–as to whether this is one of the last gasps of the experimental Reynier era at the distillery or if it reflects directions in ongoing production, I don’t know. If you do, please chime in below. And for a proper appreciation of Bruichladdich’s marketing department’s efforts with this whisky, please read this (the blog appears defunct, which is a shame).
Bruichladdich “The Organic” (46%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Ah, that familiar mildly butyric note of Bruichladdich! It’s joined here by a big blast of lemon and a minerally, cereally note. Very fresh, very bracing (once the eau de puke burns off a bit). A little bit of salt too after a couple of minutes and some toasted wood. With more time there’s a chalky/limestoney aspect to the lemon and some sweeter fruit below it all. With a slug of water the chalky/lemon thing abates a bit and lets muskier, maltier notes up to the top.
Palate: Sweet at first with the citrus right below and a little whiff of smoke too. Sweeter again as I swallow. Gets more acidic as it goes. The butyric note is here too but somehow it’s not as off-putting as I usually find it to be. Water pushes the butyric thing down completely and brings out wet stones and malt. With more time the youth seems to tell as more pungent, grainy notes push through the malt.
Finish: Long. The lemon develops chalkiness here too and the tingle of the citrus merges with some spicy, peppery wood notes. Sweeter with time. Thinner and shorter with water and also more bitter.
Comments: I liked this more than I was expecting to. More in fact than I liked my one bottle of the Laddie 10. A decent summer sipper. I may have added a bit too much but I liked it better without water.
Rating: 84 points
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!