Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Bottling 70cl / 45.1%
The Black Art is perhaps the most anticipated of Bruichladdich's ongoing releases. Small batches of old stock matured in what is generally a cornucopia of (undisclosed) cask types, generally assumed to include sherry and at least one kind of wine.
Bruichladdich Black Art 8.1 is from the 1994 vintage (when Bruichladdich was almost entirely dormant) and was aged a full 26 years before bottling in 2020. Early reviews have suggested this is something of a departure from previous releases, with more of a bourbon influence among the wine notes but still being, as one would expect, an absolutely brilliant dram.
Black Art 8.1
Colour: Hazel, rich copper.
Nose: The complexity of flavours combining on the nose makes this a joy to try and decipher. Initially, a Citrus, lime zest, fresh orange style is met with rich caramel and oaky notes of dried apricot, pipe tobacco, maple syrup. Oak shavings and toasted hazelnuts. Vanilla syrup. Leather and poached pears with honey and apricot jam coming through as the complexity opens up and the Floral nature of our spirit shows its hand with rose and geranium and after a little time a hint of wild thyme on the breeze. The balance between the spirit and the oak is beautiful, with the oak nurturing the delicate nature of the spirit. That is the hallmark of this edition of Black Art.
Palate: That citrus style, lemon zest and then the sweetness from the oak meets the palate beautifully. The texture is like warm honey and brings notes of maple syrup, walnut, toasted oak and coconut. That delicate sweetness floods the palate with vanilla, dried apricot, caramel and millionaires shortbread. The light creamy texture and palate is so soft and gentle but packed with depth and as we draw towards the finish the delicate Bruichladdich DNA of soft stoned fruit comes to the fore.
Finish: The finish is gentle, sweet caramel, dried fruit, sultana, lemon drizzle cake. Hazelnuts, milk chocolate. Its softness is calming.
Character: This Black Art edition stands alone when compared to its brothers. The style is much more about the DNA of the spirit and how the casks will highlight that soft fruit style and zesty character. A lighter Black Art created to explore an idea rather than fit a mould.