I’m not sure how a whisky is ‘designed’ to be taken with ice, but that is the spin Bruichladdich has put on ‘Rocks’. What was different in the engineering of this malt that makes it work against the scientific principles that suggest that a whisky will ‘close up’ by adding ice? Hm…curiouser and curiouser.
Anyway…moving on. Regular readers will know by now that my humble thoughts and tasting notes are quite purist. There is no ‘with water’ or ‘without water’ delineation. There is no mixing to concoct a cocktail. There is certainly nowhere on ATW where I suggest you should use ice in whisky.
Irrespective of what Jim McEwan’s (bless ‘im, I love the man) intent was for Rocks, we’ll be going at ‘er in the purest sense possible; room temperature whisky, nosing glass, with a slight agitation of the spirit and proper nosing techniques. I kind of look at it the same way I look at a well-written song. You know a song is rock solid when you can jam away at it in all different styles and interpretations and it still sounds good. If Rocks is a well-made dram, it won’t need ice to make it better.
(Note to self: “Careful, now, careful…don’t twist an ankle climbing down off your soapbox”)
Fortunately, Bruichladdich has a really good base spirit to work with. What comes off the stills at Loch Indaal’s rebellious distillery, infamous for its teal/turquoise, is a charming buttery, fruit-rich spirit that is extremely versatile.
Young and scrappy, but not bad at all. Some oxidation works wonders here. A little chocolate, a little wine. Some gooseberry and wildflower. Kinda jammy, and fairly sweet and floral. Yeasty and peppery.
Grapes, pepper and oak. Mildly tannic and drying. Pleasant and easy to drink, with a bittersweet barley finish.
I quite came round to this one after a little initial warming-to period. None too shabby for a young drink.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt