...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mathilda Malt: Bruichladdich MCMLXXXV 27 year old 1985, aka DNA4

The fourth and final release in the much too brief DNA series, this whisky was distilled in MCMLXXXV like the DNA3 I reviewed yesterday. While its cask types are undisclosed, I'm going to guess they're all ex-bourbons, which made it a great contrast with its predecessor. Unlike DNA3, this edition has an actual distillation date listed on the back label (along with a random Orson Welles reference) which means these weren't just a bunch of random casks. You have octuplets! It rolls right off your tongue, and into your heart. Oc-tup-lets. Oops, we're not supposed to be talking about Apu right now. Also, they could be nontuplets or dodecuplets for all we don't know.

As mentioned yesterday, I tasted this whisky alongside DNA3 and the current Scottish Barley from Bruichladdich. Here's the review of DNA4, the 27 year old.

Distillery: Bruichladdich
Ownership at time of distillation: Invergordon Distillers
Region: Western Islay
Series/Gimmick: DNA
Age: 27 years (March 7, 1985 - August 22, 2011)
Maturation: ex-bourbon casks?
Outturn: 1698 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 49.3%
(from a purchased sample)

It has a nice amber color to it. It noses of chalk and dirty rocks. Almond extract, yellow plums, white nectarines and pears. More time in the glass brings out more fruits, such as pineapple. A hint of barn. Mint and honey. It smells like sunshine. It also has that great oily mouthfeel. Lots of barley, tart apples and blackberries on the palate right up front. Then green peppercorns and a bitter bite. Hints of wood smoke, cocoa and grassy leafiness. Lemon juice. It finishes as earthy as the nose. Tart fruits, leaves, lemons and peppercorns. Chili oil and honey.


Another lovely thing. I'm impressed by the casks' restraint. (Or maybe I've gotten to used to contemporary whisky woodwork.) The palate is good, but the nose is sublime. I can gripe a little bit about the finish, but I'm going to focus on the positive. And I could wonder how many more of these well rested barrels were dumped and candied by those indie owners, but I'm going to focus on the positive. And I could also marvel about the tremendous and complex palate the 25yo had but this had not, but I'm going to focus on the positive. This is great ex-bourbon cask whisky.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - somewhere between £200 and £300
Rating - 89