During the Feis Ile Festival on Islay The Bruichladdich Head Distiller Adam Hannett spoke during a Masterclass. The venue was held in warehouse 12 and hosted around 200 lucky attendees. I was looking at the live YouTube Stream and had very interesting interaction with people from around the globe. Some viewers were from Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, USA and I. I am from The Netherlands.
This is the link to the YouTube recording of the life stream.
Background information was given about 7 drams that were discussed during the Masterclass.
All photos are published by Bruichladdich via their Twitter account. Bruichladdich has the Copyrights.
The first dram is the Feis Ile 2016 Bruichladdich. The Festival dram. Distilled in 2001. (During my trip to Islay I got myself a bottle from the shop!) Matured in a variety of casks. Some bourbon, some wine casks. In the 6 weeks before the festival the whisky was finished in virgin Oak for about a month. Gentle, soft, fruity nose. Malt was 10ppm. The whisky at Bruichladdich is made with a company DNA, because the same equipment, people and philosophy is used every time. The band of gold is one or the results of this DNA. When adding water the oils from the Bruichladdich DNA process separates and you can feel the texture and the body it gives the dram. The price level for a bottle is about £95 and can only be bought by people on the grounds at Bruichladdich during the festival.
The next two drams I need to review the YouTube stream again in order to listen carefully to what Adam said. For me this was the most of the masterclass interesting parts since it went deeper into what happens to a 2 year old dram when put into the same conditions but made from barley sourced from two different places.
These two drams are the result of regional trials.
The first barley is grown on the Black Isle and the other grown near Aberdeen. Both are of the same variety of Barley. Both distilled in 2014. Adam had the audience look at both glasses and explained how the differences between these two drams. Both the smell and the taste are different just because of the influence of location and weather. This proves to Bruichladdich that with the Sam DNA in all the influences except the location where the barley grew Terroir does indeed matter. Two brothers with almost the same DNA but not the same.
The fourth sherry 1990 dram that is called DNA was an emotional one for Adam Hannett. It pays homage to one of the employees David ‘Hoppy’ Hope at bruichladdich that is no longer alive. This is where the Bruichladdich Distillery is a family that cares for it ow. It is what sharing a dram is about. I who has lost a Sister at 37 know how important family is and writing this is bringing tears in my eyes. Adam did well to honour his family in such a way.
The fifth dram is a 1988 bourbon matured whisky. I will need to rematch the life stream again to get the details on this dram!
This is a rare whisky from 1988 refill bourbon cask and it is Adam’s favourite style of Bruichladdich. Currently 61791 cask are maturing at Bruichladdich. This whisky is from one of a 116 cask from earlier then October of 1989 are in stock.
Adam informs us, that in the opinion of Jim, the best style of Bruichladdich is when matured in first fill bourbon casks matured between 15 and 17 years old.
Whisky number 5 is 28 years old. Nose: Honey, Marzipan, and creme brulee, fruit, pear, Mellon, mango. The older Bruichladdich gets the more exotic the fruit. Coconut, cacao (coco), light fresh. Result From distilling in tall narrow necked stills.
Taste: Smooth, Tobacco, citrus, lemon, fresh, Atlantic freshness,
The sixth dram is a Port Charlotte PC 13. I will add more details later. 40ppm peat. Normally peat nose will diminish over time but with port Charlotte it stays. It is unknown why. 59,1% ABV. Farmyard character. Twists and turns while in the glass. In the finish the DNA of Bruichladdich comes again. Citrus notes, Salt, maritime note at the Finish. Sweet and floral. Marzipan from the casks.
The final dram is a Black Art Octomore! People online watching the YouTube webcast went like OMG! Adam Went on how Jim McEwen told a story to Ger… I mean Japanese guys about the origins of black Art and when is the best time to enjoy a black Art. Very interesting story, but like with any Black Art nothing about the age, composition anything! Mentioned on Twitter is that the youngest whisky to go into this is from 2007.
The 200 ml bottle that the attendees get is a ten year old Octomore. It is given to the attendees with the message from Adam Hannett that he does not want this to end up on E-Bay. It is meant to be drunk with friends! Here ones again the reference to sharing and friendship is made by Adam and I hope the attendees honour this gift by not selling it as just another collectible item.
The first 10 yo Octomore was released in 2012 from first Octomore distilled. Black art Octomore had 2007 as the youngest put in. This means the black art Octomore was made from distillations between 2002 and 2007. With age the ppm gets softer as Adam said.