This is a whisky with a bit of a personal back story.
Back in 2007 I planned to go to Scotland for a weekend with two of my best friends. We had booked tickets, and rooms in some hostel in Glasgow. On a wintry Thursday morning we hopped in the car to airport Brussels South. We had Googled the location and it was a two hour drive or so.
We took almost double that time to make sure we made it. We had to drive past Antwerp and partially past Brussels, after all. Weather was shite, traffic was worse. We arrived at Brussels Airport with about 10 minutes to spare so we ran in and tried to find the right counter for check-in.
After some running around we decided to ask someone where the RyanAir counter was. The friendly, and smirking reply came that it was about 70 kilometers south. Apparently our navigation had forgotten about the ‘South’ appendage to the airport name and sent us to Brussels Airport instead of Brussels South. We didn’t notice until it was FAR too late to do anything about it.
On the spot tickets were ridiculously expensive (as in, one ticket there was more than we had paid thusfar for three tickets and three nights of accommodation) so we went home in a bit of a conflicted state. On one hand we were kind of sad we didn’t get to go to Scotland. On the other hand it was too hilarious a story to be sad about.
When we got back to Den Bosch (where I lived back then) we decided to use the suddenly freed up funds to visit our local whisky retailer and have ourselves an awesome whisky weekend. This was one of the bottles my friend bought. We loved it massively.
When I found it still available there two years ago I bought a replacement.
Some light vanilla notes at first, which are followed by lots of white oak. A bit of ethanol and some heat of that too. Slightly spicy with wood spices. Ever so lightly salty and a hair of smoke.
The palate is quite sharp with minimal smoke again. Lots of oak and some wood spices. Pear peels with white oak. Becomes smooth after the initial sharpness with some heat and a creamy texture. Starts to be a bit astringent.
The finish is soft and creamy, and quite long. Slightly drying with tannins from the heaps of white oak and the hint of smoke. Some wood spices again.
So, what to say about this. I think I love this a bit more than I should based on historic bias. If I try to remove that I still think it’s a very decent whisky and one of the few available Bruichladdichs from before the closure, and released after the reopening that hasn’t been tampered with by putting it in some kind of ridiculous cask.
Compared to other ‘natural cask’ Bruichladdichs from this area I think it’s a very good one and I very much enjoyed finishing this bottle. It’s a damn fine whisky however you put it!
Bruichladdich 1986-2006, 19yo, cask 841, 54.4%, Blackadder Raw Cask
I only found out about Blackadder’s Raw Cask bottlings last year and been intrigued by them ever since. In November, I finally bought my first bottle, a Red Snake expression without a distillery or age statement (that I was told might be a young Glentauchers). I will definitely try more Raw Casks in the future. On a side note, that annecdote of your almost-trip to Scotland is indeed pretty funny. And kinda ironic. Who would have thought that missing your flight to “whisky country” would result in you bringing home an amazing whisky you might otherwise not have tried? 😀
I would suggest trying the Raw Cask bottlings before buying them. I’ve had some very lovely ones, but some I’ve had over the years were too strong, and too one dimensional.
The three of us did buy some awesome whiskies, but it was a bit of an expensive experience to go about it this way 😉
I am pretty sure, the Raw Cask bottling I bought falls into that category. At 62 Euro, I mainly based my choice on the price. I really wanted to have a bottle with those floating cask fragments at home.^^ However, since I already bought the Timorous Beastie 21yo on the same day, my remaining budget was limited. This being said, I also enjoy young and fierce whiskies very much, so I am sure I will have a lot of fun with my Red Snake bottle once I crack it open. 🙂