Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten

Islay Single Malt, 10 Years, 46% ABV, $50

With this tasting, I’ve caught up with my advent schedule. This is the entry-level unpeated offering from Bruichladdich and one that I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about.

The Laddie Ten pours golden yellow. Although unpeated, it’s got a definite briny smoke on the nose along with the sweetness of vanilla and honey. It’s a pleasure to sniff the lightly smoky sweet aroma and pick out the fresh cut grass, spicy ginger and pepper, fruity plum and pear with a nice balance between all of them. You still get an image of a grassy island surrounded by seawater.

Moving on to the taste, it’s distinctly Islay with less brine than the nose would suggest, but the sweetness remains: apple, vanilla, honey and sweet lemon. There’s also the mild woody smoke as well as white pepper that carry through to the finish, which is long and mostly dry, woody and leathery after the last of the tart fruits fade.

This is a mild Islay and not at all like the oily experience of a Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte offerings. It makes for a good introduction to the style because it has plenty of characteristic Islay attributes without the intensity that Islay lovers adore. Give it a try!

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