Eddie Pensier writes:
My most recent trip to New York resulted in an invitation to a free Bruichladdich tasting at the excellent Upper East Side Scotch bar Caledonia, and this was the last dram–the self-proclaimed “peatiest whisky in the world”. I was expecting a forest-floor tastebud bulldozer like Ardbeg or Laphroaig, and boy was I shocked. Yes it is peaty, outrageously so, when sipped neat, but a few drops of water brings out unexpected complexity. Beyond the phenol (which inevitably brings to mind the Chloraseptic used on sore throats, and with as much time as I’ve spent in the opera business you’d better believe I am intimately familiar with that smell/flavor) it had a thoroughly delightful undertone of pastry. Cake, danish, possibly donuts, but something desserty. Also, this is the first peat-bomb whisky that doesn’t put my gustatory sense into hibernation for hours. Other highly phenolic whiskies have such an oily aftertaste that it practically requires a tooth-brushing to get rid of the taste, assuming you wanted to, of course.
The other expressions (Scottish Barley, Islay Barley, and Port Charlotte) were fine and elegant whiskies as is to be expected from Bruichladdich, but honestly any memories I have about the specifics have faded behind the intense, fetishistic love I have developed for Octomore. It’s a bruiser of a dram, but unexpectedly complex.
Australians can pick a bottle up at Dan Murphy’s Online. New Yorkers should visit Caledonia and tell Trevor, the friendly and knowledgeable bartender, that Eddie sent you. Online, try Whisky Shop USA.