Headed over to Mr. Brooks in Bangsar Shopping Centre on 21 July 2014 for the media preview of Bruichladdich (pronounced brook-lad-dee) single malt Scotch whisky which hails from a boutique distillery on the isle of Islay in Scotland. Islay is a remote island surrounded by fast currents, dangerous skerries, wild winds and the Atlantic swell.
Bruichladdich was designed by Robert Harvey in 1881, a 23-year old engineer who created a custom-design to produce the purest spirit possible. The distillery was resurrected in 2000 by a team led by Mark Reynier and Simon Coughlin, whose background in winery brought a passion for terroir and an understanding of the role of fine oak and the nuances of flavor brought by the cask in the maturity process. Terroir is the geo-climate characteristics that influence the quality of the single malt, namely weather conditions, soil type, and topography.
Bruichladdich is the only major distiller to bottle spirit on the island of Islay itself – an essential part of its provenance and authenticity, and supports local industry by sourcing their barley from farms on Islay. Using 100% Scottish barley allows Bruichladdich whisky to be bottled naturally with no added colour, retaining the vital natural oils, which give their spirit a complex flavour profile and mouthfeel. At Bruichladdich, the aim is to create the most thought-provoking whisky possible and they don’t believe that whiskies should be judged on their age. Head distiller and whisky legend, Jim McEwan said,” “We release whisky when we feel it’s right. It’s ready when it’s ready!”
Like winemakers, Bruichladdich believes the slower and more gentle the distillation process, the purer and better the liquid. The aim is for the highest quality spirit, which takes its own time and requires minimal intervention.
Bruichladdich Brand Ambassador, Murray Campbell, gave us a some insight into the brand, while Richard Gillam of Remy Martin International concocted some wonderful whisky cocktails which really showed off the attributes of the Bruichladdich product range that will be made available in Malaysia, the Laddie Classic, Port Charlotte and Octomore 6.1.
So you think girls don’t drink whisky? Well think again as Sarah, Daphne and Sandy are all whisky drinkers!
Pictured below is Richard Gillam of Remy Martin International who concocted some wonderful whisky cocktails for us guests to try.
The Classic Laddie
An unpeated single malt scotch whisky crafted by master distiller Jim McEwan from individually selected casks to showcase the classic, floral and elegant Bruichladdich house style.
The bouquet opens with barley sugar and a hint of mint before leading into notes of freshly cut wild flowers; buttercup, daisy, meadowsweet, myrtle, primrose and cherry blossom. After some four or five minutes and with the addition of a little water, you will get the smell of caramelised fruits; lemon drops, honey, and tangerine.
The palate is refined and refreshing, with flavours of sweet oak and the barley and a combination of ripe green fruit, brown sugar and sweet malt towards the end.
Alcohol content: 50%
Port Charlotte is peated to a heavyweight 40ppm, and is cuvee crafted from casks hand-picked by master distiller Jim McEwan, showcasing the convergence of classic floral elegance of Bruichladdich and heavy peat. The whisky is trickle distilled from 100% Scottish Barley, and gently matured in the lochside village of Port Charlotte before being bottled at the distillery using Islay spring water.
Opens with peat smoke and Atlantic squall, after which you will get notes of iodine, salty canvas, crushed sea shells, charred oak staves, black pepper, paprika and leather tobacco pouches. The second wave brings vanilla, figs and soft plump dates, marinated pear, freshly milled malt, dark sweet toffee and cracked walnuts.
Full of depth and complexity, the smokey sweetness of the barley contrasts with the marine freshness of the spirit and the richness of toffee and vanilla. The complexity is enhanced further with a citrus twist and then mellow oak.
Alcohol content: 50%
Octomore 6.1 is the world’s most heavily peated whisky, and this is for the serious smokey whisky lover.
The first waves bring a combination of sea spray, spindrift, wet sea weed and hints of oily iodine. Then peat smoke with cracked black peppercorn and notes of heather flowers, lemon balm and water mint.
As the spirit breathes in the glass a subtle change takes place, giving you crisp, malted barley then the sweet oak, giving notes of vanilla, toasted rye bread and walnuts. You might also detect fresh lime, poached apple and pear from distillation while the sea lends its saltiness to the whisky.
Alcohol content: 57%
Bruichladdich products are available in Malaysia at the following outlets:
Claret Wine Bar at Troika Sky Dining | Escobar | The Hub | Malt & Leaf | Mezze | Mr Brooks | Scot Bar | Tate | The Whisky Bar | Diamond Palace
Cuvee | Farquhar | Mish Mash | Traffic
More info at http://www.bruichladdich.com/
Photo credits: Remy Martin and author’s own