...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Indie Bruichladdich: 19 year old 1992 Signatory UCF, cask #3627

There were more posts planned for last week but Shit Happened and—unrelated—I suddenly received a lot of paid work. But now let us return to our regularly scheduled Bruichladdich program.

Last week, I reviewed the second edition of Bruichladdich 12yo and a previous version of Bruichladdich 10yo. Both of these were distilled before Mark Reynier and Jim McEwan controlled the distillery, as was today's whisky. This hogshead was matured (at least partially) and bottled by my favorite indie, Signatory. The Pitlochry-based company has put out at least a dozen of these Unchillfiltered Collection bottlings of 1992 Invergordon Distillers Bruichladdich. I regrettably passed up many of these when they were on the shelves at a good price. Luckily for me, Jordan of Chemistry of the Cocktail did not! He sent me a sample of cask 3627 (thanks!) when we did a swap.

Distillery: Bruichladdich
Ownership: Remy Cointreau
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Age: 19 years (November 20, 1992 - March 5, 2012)
Maturation: Hogshead
Cask#: 3627
Bottle: 87 of 342
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

Its color is a medium amber. The nose is all barley up front. Then lemons, yellow plums, cocoa and a hint of vanilla. There are hints, here and there, of beach sand, orange blossoms and Belgian ale. The big notes in the palate are toffee, butterscotch and something peat-ish (smoked nuts & bandages?). It picks up a sharp bitterness halfway through. Some subtler notes of flowers, vanilla bean and peppery arugula. A bit of bitterness in the finish as well. Then toffee and caramel. Tart acidic limes. It gets sweeter and more aromatic with time.

WITH WATER (~40%abv)
Some more stone fruits and caramel in the nose. More of the briny/beachy salt note. And barley. Big pepper and better bitterness (okay enough Bs) in the palate. It's also sweeter with gentle barrel notes. Tart citrus (probably grapefruits) and a hint of soap. The finish becomes mild, sweet, malty and citric. A little bit of caramel in there too.

This Signatory Bruichladdich is a nice simple drinker. The oak notes are mostly reserved, though when they do show, they decently complement the spirit. Its highlights and flaws are both relatively minor. The good palate stuff is all mildly pleasant, while the bitterness tends to be a bit much and the diluted version's soap note is, well, soapy. Overall this Siggy 'Laddie will appeal most to those who like a little barley in their whisky. But for folks looking for lots of wood, there are plenty of options elsewhere.

Availability - Less than a dozen US specialty retailers
Pricing - was $90 upon release, now it's $120-$150
Rating - 84


  1. In retrospect it's clear why these casks are going for about half the price of comparably aged OB Bruichladdichs.

    1. Did you review this one yet? Haven't been able to find anything about this cask online.

  2. Hi there,

    I do not think that the prices of these Signatory bottlings have anything to do with quality.
    It is just that Signatory is one of indeed only very few whisky companies that do not try to just hike prices under the shady pretence of prmiumisation - drink better for much more - but tries to keep the age and quality of a bottling in a healthy ratio to the price asksed.
    One could say that peer malts bottled under the distillery name are just way too expensive and still have nothing to do with quality.
    The malts that are in their tewnties now have been distilled under Jim Beam Grater Europe ownership - a time when cask management had been heard of but not at Bruichladdich.
    Independent bottlers are strained for being able to bottle anything older than 12-15 years and still have a good bottling.


  3. I agree, Kallaskander. I feel that most of the respected indie bottlers are pricing fairly, these days, insofar as the price is reflective of the quality. They know what they have, and they know what it's worth. To maintain their reputations, they won't overprice anything.