Bruichladdich Rare Cask Series - 1985 / 32 years

Bruichladdich 1985 / 32 32 Islay aged years

32 years. A long journey with a few crossroads, a few considered and inspired decisions down the line. This dram comes from the final 22 casks of the legacy stock distilled back in 1985 by a previous generation of Bruichladdich stillmen. This whisky was originally filled into gentle third fill Bourbon casks and lay untouched in warehouse 14 until 2012. Our then master distiller Jim McEwan discovered this forgotten parcel and re-casked it into fresh bourbon adding depth and complexity.

Adam Hannett

“These rare, old single malt whiskies are a direct link to our past, to the men who made truly special spirit here while facing very different circumstances to those which we enjoy today. Testament to their skill and hard work it was laid down to mature by the shores of Loch Indaal, unaware of what the future might bring.

“Three generations of distillers have watched over it, each of us helping to shape the final concept. It has been my privilege to decide that the treasures we have nurtured are now ready to be brought to the world.

“These whiskies when tasted leave me speechless. They are in their prime, the last of their kind and can never be repeated, never recreated. Nothing quite like them will ever be seen again.

“They are some of the most symbolic whiskies I have worked with and they are profoundly important to me. They are as old as I am. They refect my life and experience, those moments that mean so much to us all. The moments that defne us; when we marry, when we become parents and when we achieve our dreams and are recognised for our achievements.

“These are the moments that deserve to be celebrated with something extraordinary. I hope you will be able to join me.”

– ADAM HANNETT

1985 / 32 years

Tasting Notes


Colour – Blood orange.

Aroma – An amazing array of notes. Blood orange, nectarines, banana bread, desiccated coconut, vanilla custard, then more floral and nutty tones, geranium, marzipan, walnut, heather honey.

Taste – Tremendous presence on the palate, the texture is wondrously sof and syrupy. The short ACE in the wine casks has given a warm, nutmeg hint and a layer of fruity notes, raspberry, blackcurrant jam and ripe plum, all perfectly balanced by years in American oak – cinder toffee, lemon meringue and coconut – bounty bar sweet. It opens continually to reveal layer upon layer of complexity.

Finish – Long and gentle, the oak influence is strong with waves of soft vanilla wafer, toffee and sandalwood. Then lemon barley sugars, a hint of salted caramel and apricot syrup.

Character – Attempting to describe the feeling and style of this whisky will fall woefully short of doing it justice. This is a vintage that will not be forgotten and it is my pleasure to be able to release it to the world.

“RE-CASKED INTO FRESH BOURBON IN 2012, JUST THREE MONTHS BEFORE BOTTLING I TRANSFERRED THIS WHISKY AGAIN, THIS TIME INTO WOOD THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY HELD A TRULY GREAT CLARET. SUCH A SHORT ACE GAVE A BEAUTIFUL BLUSH OF COLOUR AND A LOVELY LAYER OF FRUIT AND SWEET NOTES – WHILE NOT DEPARTING FROM THE CHARACTER DEVELOPED BY THE BOURBON CASKS OVER THE YEARS.”

– ADAM HANNETT

Warehouse

Now in 2017 the final coup de grace is a tantalising nuance in French oak from one of the greatest French chateaux. Truly this is a dram with a story to tell.

BOURBON: HIDDEN GLORY


A Bruichladdich Rare Cask Series

— The very last 22 casks from 1985
— Unpeated Islay single malt Scotch Whisky
— Exclusive to domestic markets
— Limited release of only 4,200 bottles
— Vintage 1985 – aged 32 years
— Distilled, matured and bottled on Islay
— Colouring free and without chill filtration
— Matured in refill Bourbon casks until 2012
— Recasked into first fill Bourbon casks
— A final ace in premium French oak

Warehouse

Now in 2017 the final coup de grace is a tantalising nuance in French oak from one of the greatest French chateaux. Truly this is a dram with a story to tell.

BOURBON: HIDDEN GLORY


A Bruichladdich Rare Cask Series

— The very last 22 casks from 1985
— Unpeated Islay single malt Scotch Whisky
— Exclusive to domestic markets
— Limited release of only 4,200 bottles
— Vintage 1985 – aged 32 years
— Distilled, matured and bottled on Islay
— Colouring free and without chill filtration
— Matured in refill Bourbon casks until 2012
— Recasked into first fill Bourbon casks
— A final ace in premium French oak

THESE OLD AND RARE SCOTCH WHISKIES ARE THE LAST OF THEIR KIND.


They provide us with an opportunity to pause, to consider how the world has changed over the past three decades and to refect on the very human stories that lie behind these extraordinary liquids.

Those of us who remember the 1980s recall a difficult decade for Scotch whisky. Numbers of great old distilleries closed down and many more had their traditional craftsmanship swept away by a tide of modernisation. The easiest way to drive profit was to change working practices, promote efficiencies instead of quality and close those ‘plants’ considered irredeemably old-fashioned.

Many succumbed, but happily, way out west on Islay, the world’s most famous whisky island, the robust Victorian engineering at Bruichladdich survived the initial onslaught of corporate greed. The traditional ways continued, partly because of the brilliance of the engineers who had designed and built the distillery back in 1881, and partly because the old place seemed to be forgotten by the men in suits. For a while anyway.

Great spirit, trickle distilled by hand the old way, continued to be laid down at Bruichladdich until 1994 when the stills ran for what seemed to be the last time and a lack of imagination and consideration for the future finally conspired to shut the gates. Just two men, Duncan “The Budgie” MacFadyen and the late John Rennie were retained – and their role was essentially to empty the loch-side warehouses of maturing spirit so that blending contracts could be fulfilled.

We came so close to losing the extraordinary heritage passed down to us by those men, but, miraculously, a very few examples of their work still survive. Here are the final exemplars from three vintages that reach back and touch their craft. A trinity of their great single malts proudly bottled here at the distillery by the next generation – a young team who have injected a new life and vitality into the old walls.

Bruichladdich Distillery
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