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Bruichladdich ‘Bere Barley’ 2008 (2014, OB, 50%)

We’ve already talked about the Bere barley variety when we tasted the wonderful Arran ‘Bere Barley’. Bruichladdich too, during the last years, have been experimenting the same way, distilling this “historical” barley variety, common in the 19th Century and later replaced by more productive varieties. This barley is grown by Bruichladdich in cooperation with the Orkney Agronomy Institute in several farms all over the archipelago, on South Ronaldsay, Orphey and Burray. The aim is written on label: terroir matters, even in craft distillation of single malt Scotch whisky. This is the third edition, 36k bottles distilled in 2008 and bottled in October 2014.

Bruichladdich-Bere-Barley-2008-single-malt-whisky

N: rather alcoholic and very focused on cereal and vegetal notes. It doesn’t hide its young age since the very first sniff. It’s a dry whisky, indeed: bread and yeast say that the spirit is the main ingredient here, and we’re really glad. Candied lemons and pineapples (yellow fruit in general); there’s also a “sweeter” note quite usual, we think about marzipan. A little suggestion: a new book made of glossy paper, just handled. Herbaceous and citrusy.

P: double surprise! The intensity is remarkable and it takes unexpectedly a fruity path: there’s a tropical maracuja taste, a warmer yellow fruit and a vague, sweet citrus note. Later, the bread and malt note appears again, with more evident dried herbs.

F: gentle but persistent, it’s sweet (coconut and vanilla), with a distinct taste of fresh yeast. Amazing spirit, very nude but extremely pleasant, and we’d say it’s only fair: if terroir is the main point, the taste of malt must be the king. Youth is rather noticeable, so we should admit that we prefer the Arran Bere Barley, but come on: the age statement is very different! 84/100, clap clap mister McEwan!

Recommended soundtrack: George Benson – Affirmation.

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