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Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Bruichladdich 15 yo (2003/2018, Valinch & Mallet, 54,1%)

Fabio Ermoli and Davide Romano got their hands on a barrel of Bruichladdich, distilled in 2003, and they decided to bottle it during the last fall. It is not the usual ex-bourbon barrel: it is instead a barrel that had previously contained Madeira, and the whisky aged in it has remained in it since day one, thus completing 15 years of full maturation in ex-Madeira wood. It is not a usual profile, so we do not expect to find usual notes… Let’s put it to the test.

N: mamma mia, how strange! Definitely not, it’s not usual. We find notes of ham fat, a clean, sulphurous hint of compost (it seems bad to say, but… there’s like a note of “organic trash bin”, excuse us guys), then an unexpected and incontrovertible hint of hot popcorn. Anyway very strange, heavily sulphurous, definitely weird. But what is it?! Bringing the carriage back to the most travelled tracks, here is a honey crunchy and a sort of white chocolate aroma?

P: very intense and tasty, here it remains very consistent, and we feel like confirming the definition of the supreme Matteo Zampini, frontman of Valinch in Italian festivals: liquid popcorn. And it’s true!, it really tastes like popcorn, hot, buttery and with an evident hint of salt. A little bit of raisins, to testify of a winey character, both past and present.

F: marine and salty, with ham fat and hints, again, of rott… uh, fermenting stuff. But curiously and in spite of appearances, this is a positive sensation. Very long and persistent.

How many times have we used the adjective “strange”? In front of such a profile, undoubtedly difficult and not at all sexy, you can do as NiklasBM, user of whiskybase, who assigns a 41/100 (“never experienced so much sulfur […] a completely ruined whisky, which probably never should have been bottled”), or you can, as we do, appreciate the uniqueness of the single cask and think that this is the classic whisky too divisive, almost invaluable… and then at the end give it 85/100. So freaky that it goes all the way around the other side and becomes pleasant. Warmly recommended a taste: you will hardly find such things.

Recommended soundtrack: Hot butter – Popcorn.

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