Islay Barley 2004

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004 Kentraw Farm

We have a passionate belief in our barley – for us it is a living organic expression of the land that gave birth to it, of the terroir that influences its growth, of the men who nurtured it. this chalice barley was grown by farmer raymond stewart on kentraw farm one mile from our distillery. here on a south-east facing, pebbly/sandy slope above lochindaal, looking out over the atlantic and to ireland. This is the first islay-grown barley to be distilled in recent times. It is the inaugural bottling of our islay barley series, a unique and fascinating exploration of the influence of terroir on artisanal single malt whisky.

Islay Barley 2004

Tasting Notes


Character – This long lost spirit of Islay has an unbelievable innocence. A purity and refinement that leaps onto the senses like a child at the start of a new day. Totally unafraid, full of warmth and excitement, with not a care in the world other than to please. For the first time in almost a century we have an Islay whisky made from Islay barley and spring water matured and bottled on the shores of Lochindaal.

Colour – Translucent Lemon/Winter Sunshine.

Nose – The nose is a study in directness and purity. First, lemon juice sprinkled over sweet, crushed barley, golden syrup. Then tropical fruits – grapefruit, pineapple, mango, guava – even sherbet powder. The olfactory senses are in ecstasy! So many fresh, fruity, zesty, sweet notes – a rare experience – as the fabulous combination of vanilla-rich oak and a crispy, sweet malt joins in the excitement. This rainbow of aromas continues with air: honeysuckle drifts by, as do hints of brine, and finally the oak rises to embrace the more delicate scents, adding maturity and calm.

Palate – The first thing you notice is the amazing creaminess, the silkiness of a much older spirit. It glides over the palate – warm, sweet and fruity – almost like jelly beans. Then, this oak-fire heat spreads evenly over the taste buds. It’s a truly lovely experience and ably forms the foundation for the aromatics to evolve as one. Now, you can really taste the light, vanilla notes from the toasted staves. The multi-layering of flavours is absolutely wonderful for such a young malt. I can only marvel at its complexity.

Finish – At this age, like most youngsters, it doesn’t linger too long; but you will enjoy the innocence, the purity and the sheer zest for life.

Mood – Exuberance. Chistmas Eve, End of term.

Bruichladdich Distillery
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