Milan Whisky Festival, you know, is an institution in the world of whisky in Italy: Andrea and Giuseppe were the first to give us information about single malt when we were (more) young (than we are now, and anyway we are still young, okay?); they filled our first samples, when nobody in Italy used them; they gave us a priceless amount of anecdotes about whisky and its fans, about Scotland, about the old Milanese atmosphere, about some unforgettable bottles of Ardbeg 12 ex sherry consumed on the banks of the Naviglio… The importance of the Milano Whisky Festival, and not only for us, is difficult to measure or to put into words, even for us who love to overthink. Now let’s taste the two whiskies that Andrea and Giuseppe have selected for the 10th edition of the MWF: both Bruichladdich, the first is this 10 year old single cask ex-bourbon, bottled at cask strength.
N: a pastry nose, in the true sense of the word… In fact, the barrel dominates, with notes of custard, short pastry, yellow fruit (banana). It’s natural to think of those fruit petit fours. So much vanilla (pandoro!), and a lot of coconut. Lemon and a nice free-range malt, complete a young and relatively simple profile, fresh but not naive (bread and a veil of candied fruit).
P: let’s start from the last thing, moving in a context where alcohol is not hidden anyway. The distillate here is more evident, with notes of bread, lemon, yellow plum and mostly a marked ‘vegetable’ note of cereal and malt. To make the sweetness explode, you need the addition of a bit of water, which opens a sensational coconut and vanilla, and also develops really persuasive notes of dried fruit, particularly almonds. With water it is very good and balanced.
F: lemon, malt and dried fruit; still a delicate vanilla.
But a word to the wise: it is an easy Bruichladdich, but not for this reason unconvincing. More ‘malty’ than expected, it “swims” very well and even seems to require water to be fully enjoyed; good Andrea and Giuseppe, once again you have chosen an excellent malt, going against the tide and choosing a whisky from Islay, but not peated… 85/100, see you on Friday for the review of the ‘twin’ bottling in sherry.
Recommended soundtrack: Jazz Lag – Sassolino nella scarpa. Watch the video, listen to all their songs and read the introduction…