“There has to be a thread and a feeling that I need to understand and feel to be able to work my way through the whisky…” says Adam Hannett, Head Distiller. The Black Art whiskies are the Head Distiller’s prerogative to play with the very best casks we have, conjuring up a personal recipe which in wine circles would be called a cuvee. He has upwards of 200 cask types to choose from. “It is always about the casks and the complexity, and the story of the wood, really, and the oak, and how that’s shaped the spirit.”
The Black Art 09.1 is 29 aged years – that’s the age of the youngest parcel of whisky that it contains. It’s our oldest in the series so far.
- Black Art 1 19 yo/Vintage 1989 Jim McEwan
- Black Art 2 21yo/Vintage 1989 Jim McEwan
- Black Art 3 22yo/Vintage 1989 Jim McEwan
- Black Art 4 23yo/Vintage 1990 Jim McEwan
- Black Art 5 24yo/Vintage 1992 Adam Hannett
- Black Art 6 26yo/Vintage 1990 Adam Hannett
- Black Art 7 25yo/Vintage 1994 Adam Hannett
- Black Art 8 26yo/Vintage 1994 Adam Hannett
- Black Art 9 29yo/Vintage 1992 Adam Hannett
Black Art 9’s history weaves through the history of the distillery, through several chapters. The spirit was created in 1992, when the distillery was managed very differently, by its previous owners. It then lay in our Islay warehouses while Bruichladdich was dormant between 1995 and 2001. New blood entered the business in 2001; owners with a wine background and an amazing book of contacts from some of the most famous Old World chateaux. Master Distiller Jim McEwan was keen to break new ground. An era of experiments with fabulous casks followed; an eclectic range of youthful spirits were released.
Some of our older stocks were also moved between casks. picking up eloquent layers of flavour as they went. The guardianship of the developing whisky was passed from generation to generation; these ‘Pre-Renaissance’ stocks of the last millenium have become some of our most treasured. They represent under 1% of the total – a parcel of casks that cannot be replaced.
As exciting new types of casks have arrived more recently, Adam has taken the opportunity with Black Art to, in his words, “Really push it. Let’s see what else we can do.”
<<Inspiration was taken from the groundwork done in creating the first editions of this series, where there was a relentless pursuit of layers of flavour>> say his official taste notes for Black Art 09.1. “Here we are, probably another 10 years later, again managing those stocks and recasking and blending more than we’ve done previously.” He adds “But it’s that time in the casks that we’re working with now, because when the Black Art series started it was around 20 years old, now its almost 30 years old. So the evolution of that whisky by using those same stocks is really different.”
<<Looking to chart new directions with each new cask used, until finally arriving at a point of perfection.>>
The Black Art 1992 Edition 09.1 29 Aged Years is available from our webshop and best local retailers from next week.