Scottish Barley by Bruichladdich

Kev’s take:

If I were to base this review purely on the packaging, it would get 10/5. It is really beautiful, comes in a quality case and deserves pride of place in any display cabinet purely for its good looks. Kudos to their design team!

Sadly, the taste of the whiskey did not match the appeal of its packaging. It contains 50% alcohol so it has a definite kick but apart from that it was hard to say what the defining characteristic of the whiskey was. I wouldn’t call it bland exactly but it was almost as if didn’t quite know what it was going for with no particular taste coming to the fore. Having said that, there is quite a salty aftertaste that is quite pleasant. The addition of water improves the tasting somewhat and the sweeter flavours come out but it doesn’t quite redeem the whisky to my mind.  It gets a 3 out of 5.

Luke’s take:

Firstly, the bottle design is beautiful, to me anyways. It feels like they put a lot of thought into the aesthetic, instead of just putting it in a whisky-esque bottle like they’re “supposed to”. It sets the scene, by giving you some context – it’s quite new, and we won’t tell your our age, but that’s part of the design. Judge us by what we give you, and not the ideas you bring with you. Maybe I’m reading too much into a bottle, but that’s what I get.

Once poured into the glass, I get a custardy butterscotch, rounded nose, punctuated by floral aspects and some spice. It’s quite high in alcohol, 50% in fact, so be aware that that will kick you in the face if you’re not careful.

Noughty rosewater flavours come through, for me, after I take a sip, as well as a little saltiness. There is no smoke at all. Pretty interesting considering it hails from Islay.

Adding some water brings the alcohol down to something a bit more manageable, and brings out sweetness and more floral notes.

I give this 4 out of 5.


We’ve tried this one before. Read about the Classic Laddie here.