“There’s no shortcuts and no secrets. We’re an open book on who we are and how we make our whisky”
— Adam Hannett, Head Distiller
Bruichladdich has initiated an interesting conversation around what exactly is in your whisky! LuxeBook joined Caitlin Hill, Brand Ambassador, Rémy Cointreau, as she walked us through an interesting session on ‘No Hidden Measures by Bruichladdich’. It’s an approach by the Scottish distillery, which is an unorthodox move that aims to help its consumers trace the ingredients of the whisky from its origin to the time it is bottled. The Classic Laddie, Port Charlotte and Octomore are part of this unique campaign.
“We believe that you have the right to know what’s in your glass and to understand where that flavour comes from. Each batch must demonstrate our classic floral and elegant Bruichladdich style,” says Adam Hannett, Head Distiller.
Each component part, barley provenance, cask type, passing of time; all subtly influences the final recipes of the whisky. Every recipe has now been broken down to give as much information as legally allowed. Hill tells us that The Classic Laddie is an unpeated Islay single Malt Socyh Whisky, which is un-chill filtered and colouring-free. A swig of this and it reminds us of the ocean, a surprise flavour, thanks to the uncontrolled temperature in the distillery. There was a hint of salty and fruity flavours in it and when clubbed it with bitter dark chocolates, it makes for a good evening drink, especially during this lovely festive season.
The Barley: Barley gives different flavours and textures to our recipes. Three different barley types are used in the recipes of The Classic Laddie and The Laddie Eight. They are 100% grown in Scotland and categorised into ‘Mainland’, ‘Mainland Organic’ and from the whisky’s island home of ‘Islay’. The Scottish Mainland Barley is grown in the Inverness-shire region of Scotland while the Scottish Mainland Organic can be traced to a single farm. It is often creamy, sometimes grassy in flavour. Occasionally, some casks are distilled from citrusy Islay Barley that has a maritime influence.
The Casks: While age and cask type are often referred to as the most important signifiers of quality, the Bruichladdich considers how and where its barley is grown, the condition of the cask – when it is filled and what ‘vintages’ of spirit are in the final product.
At Bruichladdich, batches are made up of 76 different casks, comprising 4 vintages of spirit, 3 different barley types and 7 different cask types. Coincidentally, the Laddie Eight batches are made up of around 55 different casks, comprising 2 vintages, 2 different barley types and 5 different cask types. Scotch distillers only use casks made of oak. At Bruichladdich, casks are sourced from every corner of the globe and described in their recipes, according to their origin, the alcohol they previously held, their size and the number of times they have been used.
Ageing over Time: A common conception is that the older the single malt whisky, the better it is, which isn’t, necessarily true. Age is not the only signifier of quality in single malt; it is important to consider the length of maturation in relation to other factors. For example, younger whiskies retain more cereal and malt notes from the barley, whereas older whiskies have more time to absorb flavours from the cask.
Age Statements Simplified: Scotch Whisky regulations and EU law allow distillers to only divulge the age of the youngest spirit contained in the bottle. At Bruichladdich, the bottlings are made up of different spirits of different ages, but they’re limited to two options, either stating the youngest age on the bottle or declaring no age at all. “Considering age alone over-simplifies the
complexity of our recipes. We prefer not to undermine the interplay between maturation time, cask type and the influence of our raw ingredients,” says Hannett. Consumers in India can now type the batch code found at the base of every Bruichladdich whisky bottle on the official website to learn more about the unique recipe of the contents of their bottle.
You may also like:
Pernod Ricard India’s Kartik Mohindra on marketing strategies for the rapidly evolving Indian alcohol market