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  • Writer's pictureHarold


Perhaps it's a bit unusual that my first “Bruichladdich” review would be from some of their rarest stock, but I'm used to being a bit odd. If you’re unfamiliar with “Lochindaal,” don’t be ashamed…it was a short-lived production (from around 2007-2010), of which only 250 casks, using heavily peated whisky (around 50 ppm) were ever produced at Bruichladdich. Similar to the way Springbank revived the names of past Campbeltown distilleries like “Hazelburn” and “Longrow,” in order to create new brands for their medium and heavily peated malts, Bruichladdich paid tribute to Islay’s past by evoking the same tactic for their Port Charlotte and Lochindaal production, with the former sitting around 40 ppm.

The Lochindaal brand, for whatever reason, never took off…perhaps in favor of eventually calling everything over 40 ppm an “Octomore.” To this day, the distillery has never released any formerly labeled expressions, relying solely on privately sold and independently bottled casks to tell this modern day story.

Lochindaal (Dramfool) 10 Year |28th Release| Bourbon Barrel #R100020089 - 63%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Lochindaal (Dramfool)

10 Year |28th Release|

Bourbon Barrel R100020089 - 63%

Dramfool’s relationship with Bruichladdich, and specifically Jim McEwan’s legacy from the distillery has been a fruitful one. This cask was separate from Jim’s stock and bottled exclusively for Bruce and Colin back in 2020.

Appearance: Medium brown

First Whiff: Flower box on the windowsill of a surgeon's office.

Nose: What a wonderful, flowery, medicinal peat bomb. And I mean that, not in the smokey sense...but that it hits all those other wacky nontraditional notes (band aids, sandy seashells, iodine-soaked gauze pads, steamed…salty lobster) that make an Islay whisky so revered, all while having that sweet, subtle but flowery undertone of honeysuckle and candied citrus. Great start. With water: Opens things up even more, some lighter citrus notes…lemons, grapefruit. Nice musty/grassy/floral side now.

Palate: Comin’ in hot. And thick! Not sure if this is cask strength or bottler’s strength, but we're going to have to temper it a bit. Still, great mouth feel…oily, reaching into the cereal notes now… very malty, cooked corn, IPA level hops. With water: Still riding the ethanol wave I'm afraid. While subdued a drop, there's still a nice oily texture there that compliments the citrus minerality oh so well.

Finish: Warming. Salty, sandy with a great coastal minerality, but definitely in need of some water. With water: more medicinal in the back end…TCP, iodine.

Summary: I want to love this whisky even more but it's not without its faults. Needs a lot of time in the glass to open up the aromas, and water does little to temper the direct hit of alcohol.


Lochindaal (Ferg & Harris) 2009/11 Year |Single Cask|  Virgin Oak, Finished in PX Sherry Firkin - 62.7%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Lochindaal (Ferg & Harris)

2009/11 Year |Single Cask|

Virgin Oak, Finished in PX Sherry Firkin - 62.7%

In the short amount of time that Young Spirits have been bottling under the “Ferg & Harris” brand, the company has made a habit of re-racking into some highly active wine casks 6 months in a PX firkin cask, in this case). There are two things that you can almost, always expect from a Ferg & Harris bottling…it’s gon’ be dark…and it’s gon’ be expensive!

Appearance: Max (brown) sherry, treacle.

First Whiff: Oaky, caramel, liquorice flavored Tootsie Rolls.

Nose: Prune juice and Turkish figs. Raisins, very nutty… almonds, confectionery chocolate, nutmeg and cloves. Not sure if they remembered to dump the wine out of the firkin BEFORE placing the Lochindaal in there…probably not all of it at least.

Palate: A bit flatter than I had hoped taking a sip of Coca-Cola that's been out on the table for a while...except sherried. An overabundance of oaky wine notes, with a severe ethanol backbone. With water: The medicinal, iodine side shines through (finally). I was beginning to forget I had whisky in my glass. Lacks any citrus/briney characteristics of the usual Lochindaal spirit, but shows off some of the px with some coffee beans and cooked red apple.

Finish: Medium-short. Warming, mouth coating oak sweetness…almonds, spices on the backend…anise, more cloves/liquorice.

Summary: I understand the market for this but it’s not for me. One of those “sherrybombs” which look to dilute the faults in the initial maturation, only to realize you’re basically drinking the “seasoning” part of the process. It had some moments with a bit of water but I believe the initial Virgin Oak played a big part in the flattening, ethanol part of this. I can understand why the bottler went the route of such a predominant finish but there was just too much imbalance for me.





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