Bruichladdich Rare Cask Series HB 1990 Aged 27 Years, 49.5% ABV

Bottle 452 of 12,000

This unpeated whisky predates the current ownership of Bruichladdich. It was distilled and filled into bourbon casks in 1990 and laid down in the Bruichladdich warehouse where it rested until 2007, when Jim McEwan had the whiskey transferred into French wine casks that I suspect are Limousin oak from Château Lafittte Rothschild based upon there being several such barrels when we visited the Bruichladdich warehouse in 2018.

The color is a deep, dark caramel amber with hints of orange when in brighter light.

The nose is stewed fruits (plums, raisins, apricots and dates) and orange zest, dusted gently with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove with traces of leather and tobacco overlying a creamy maltiness. Adding a small bit of water added cherries to the stewed fruits and brought out just a tiny little bit of oakiness. The minimal ethanol on the nose originally completely dissipated from the small amount of water being added.

The palate is remarkably similar to the nose, limiting how much there is to say. The fruit is forward, but not sugary sweet, with a modest oak tannin and citrus zest bitterness joining in with European oak spices to sit on a honey caramel base which lasts a good long time. A tart cherry lingers lovingly on the lengthy creamy finish.

This not inexpensive Bruichladdich expression was purchased at Heathrow and I believe it is a duty free exclusive. This is a fairly complex whisky, having so many classic whisky flavors and a mouth feel that I find to be surprisingly creamy. This is a delightful whisky that will not overwhelm the senses, but brings to all the senses plenty to appreciate and enjoy.