I have to admit, I’m a wine drinker who had never really gotten into whisky. Mike, on the other hand, is a big fan and I’m finally starting to come around. We were recently invited to a Bruichladdich tasting and it was a really educational experience for a first-timer like myself.
The Bruichladdich distillery (@) is located on Islay, one of the five regions in Scotland protected by law which ensures that any scotch labelled with these regions is in fact produced from the region.
At Bruichladdich, they believe that terroir matters. According to their website, they “believe that Islay whisky should have an authenticity derived from where it is distilled and where it is matured. From the philosophies of those who distil it. A sense of place, of terroir that speaks of the land, the barley and the water from which it was made, and of the human soul that gave it life.”
The evening consisted of a tasting of Bruichladdich’s offerings which started off with the Classic Laddie ($69.95 at the LCBO). With such a strong emphasis on local ingredients, this unpeated scotch is a great showcase of this. For those unfamiliar with scotch, you’ll often hear the term “peaty” which refers to its smokey flavour. This smooth unpeated scotch was a great way to kick off the night.
We also tried the heavily peated Port Charlotte ($94.25 at the LCBO) which represents the first time a heavily-peated single malt scotch had been distilled using Islay-grown barley. I think I have a ways to go before I can truly appreciate how the addition of peat enhances the flavour of scotch but Mike really enjoyed this one. If you like your scotch smokey, the Port Charlotte is definitely for you.
It’s hard to believe but the next offering was even peatier than the Port Charlotte. The Octomore ($229.95 at the LCBO) is one of the most heavily peated scotches on the market. While it might not be a good beginner scotch, I hope to be able to appreciate down the road. I know Mike’s already there as he finished my glass too!
If you want to have your own tasting at home, the Bruichladdich Wee Laddie gift pack is now available at the LCBO for $74.95 and includes three 200ml bottles (the Port Charlotte, Islay Barley and the Classic Laddie).
*This was a complimentary tasting. The opinions in the post, as always, are my own.*