Islay Barley, how much attention can go to provenance? Springbank did their Local Barley whisky in 1965 for a while and they have picked that up again little over a decade ago. Now there’s this, not even just Islay Barley, but from a specific farm too. Dunlossit Estate in this case, which is about 10 miles from the distillery near Ballygrant on Islay.
While I don’t really believe in all that ‘terroir’ from wine being similar to barley, even more so because it’s distilled. There is of course the Islay environment which is rather specific with ocean air, windswept fields and a rather salty sea weed for a peat base.
I find it extremely cool that Bruichladdich made such a specific batch of whisky, with all the barley coming from one farm. I hope they will release other estate-grown whisky as well, so we can compare.
This one starts a bit sweeter than the Organic I reviewed yesterday. The flavours are comparable but it all feels a bit ‘warmer’. The vanilla is a bit thicker, most custardy. The wood is there too, also friendlier. I get those Reine Claude (little green plums) after that, and it gets a bit more tea-like with a beer like bitterness, without the hops of course. As with The Organic, this one keeps developing without breaking apart.
This one is also rather spirit driven, just like the first one. I get crumble topping that has been in the oven three minutes too long, heaps of barley and a slight wood influence. Less development than on the nose, but a rather tasty whisky nonetheless. There’s lemon curd and fresh, crisp apple too.
The finish is more spicy and more about the barley than the palate was. Less lemon and apple, but with a beery malt note, and a touch of bitterness.
The addition of water doesn’t do much for this dram. It makes all the flavours a bit more gentle and takes a bit of the heat out. There isn’t much that is ‘unlocked’ with a few drops, however.
During the Twitter tasting we talked about this one feeling more windsweapt than the previous one. I thought that made it more ‘Islay’ as well.
It’s a very tasty dram and coming in at £ 14.95 for a 20cl bottle it’s also rather affordable (a quick calculation brings it to the same price level as The Organic). It might be a little hard to get, since it’s been out there for a while.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley, 2006, 50%, OB, wee bottles available at The Whisky Exchange.