To continue the Bruichladdich series here I decided to delve into my whisky cabinet and get some bottles out. I finished most of my Bruichladdichs last year to get my open bottle count down. They had been sitting there for years and there wasn’t much left so it wouldn’t get any better anyway. Back then I finished the 17 year old and the Resurrection Dram.
This first batch of the Black Art is one that has been in the cabinet since its release in 2009. I bought it right away since I found it a very appealing thought to have an older Bruichladdich with all kinds of masterful casks in the mix. Let’s see how that turns out, shall we?
The first sniff is rather coarse and thin, and dry. Quite some tannins in there I guess. The influence of the wine casks (red wine most likely) is clear with a typical wine note and red fruits too. It takes a while to come into its own but it does get a bit thicker and more aromatic. It does stay a little bit ‘weird’ however. Sugared strawberries, stewed red fruits and raisins.
The flavour is very gentle initially but it gets some oomph quickly. Sharp and peppery with almost no wood flavours. It does have the dryness of wood and red wine though. Red fruits again, but not as juicy as I expected. Dried strawberries which aren’t too sweet.
The finish is fruity with, again, lots of red fruits. There’s also a tiny hint of sweet, aged balsamic vinegar which goes nicely with the strawberry flavour that’s present here as well. Rather long too.
It has lots of fruit flavours but it lacks a certain complexity. What I miss most, though, is the typical ‘whisky’ flavours of oak and barley. I feel the red wine casks have overpowered this dram.
In batch three I really liked the nose but it went down from there, where in this one I find there is no real up to begin with. It’s nice booze, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a € 85 bottle of whisky worth. If you’d have said it was an aged strawberry brandy I’d have believed you.
Bruichladdich Black Art 1, 1989-2009, 19yo, 51.1%, used to cost around € 85.