Bruichladdich 1989

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Bruichladdich 1989, Carmel Wine Cask Finish, 46% ABV

Since my Paul John tasting made me think of Bruichladdich, I thought it would be fun to visit one from my whisky cabinet.  I decided on a limited release Bruichladdich 1989 that was aged 18 years in oak and then finished in a Carmel wine cask.  I know that it will not have a similar peat profile, so it is not really a comparison to my prior tasting.  For that, I would be wiser to turn to one of Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte offerings.  A tasting note for another day.

On the nose, my first impression is dark chocolate.  As I explore it more, there are floral and possibly toffee elements.  On first sip, I get a strong spice and clove rush, with a tease of peat.  In mid-palate I find pepper and heat.  The maturity of this whisky brings a smoothness to the overall impression.  The finish is medium-to-long, and I find a little peat-infused-sweetness, like a saltwater taffy, that emerges as the pepper heat subsides.

I am a bit unsure about this whisky.  To my taste preferences, the balance seems a bit off, where the mix of sweet and spicy somehow translate into dominant clove-like elements.  It does not give a complexity of flavor profiles that I prefer – more one-note that I would expect from a whisky bottled with this age profile.

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