Islay-based Bruichladdich Distillery, known for producing famed Scotch and gins the likes of Botanist, Port Charlotte, Octomore, and of course, Bruichladdich, has debuted its most recent releases in Singapore – the Black Art 09.1 and Octomore 12 Series.
The Black Art 09.1, like its predecessors, carries an air of mystery about it, what with the type of casks used to age the spirit a secret only Head Distiller Adam Hannett knows.
Yet, rest assured that this ninth expression is once again a special one. The oldest Black Art edition to ever be bottled, this unpeated 29-Year-Old whisky comes from an era before the closure of the Bruichladdich Distillery in 1994 (the distillery was subsequently revived in 2001), and was matured in warehouses located by the beautiful shores of Loch Indaal.
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“With this edition of Black Art, I took inspiration from the groundwork done in the early days of this series, where there was a relentless pursuit to layer flavour,” explains Hannett. “This whisky would rest in some of the finest casks, sometimes for just a few weeks, adding a delicate layer of fruit before we moved the whisky on again.”
Then there’s the trio of whiskies under the Octomore 12 Series. This latest range will once again please peatheads out there, with all three bottlings in the series featuring a peat level of over 100 PPM (40 PPM is already considered high).
As with previous editions, the 12.1 acts as the base or control of the experimental range, providing a springboard of sorts for Hannett to work his magic. The man himself had previously established a tradition of maturing the .1 Octomore releases in ex-American oak casks for five years to provide control within each experimental series, and the 12.1 is no exception.
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The 12.2 meanwhile offers an alternative maturation to its .1 counterpart by taking a leaf from the phenomenally successful Octomore 4.2 (Comus), which combines heavily peated spirit with ex-Sauternes cask finishing. The whisky spent three and a half years in ex-American oak before ageing in Sauternes casks for another 18 months.
Finally, there’s the single vintage 12.3, which explores Islay-grown barley and the terroir of the distiller’s home-grown grain, combined with sherry maturation, for the first time in history. Of the spirit distilled, 75 percent was filled into ex-American oak casks and 25 percent into PX casks for a five-year maturation.
Of the 12 series, the 12.3 has got to be the most unique. It isn’t often when a distillery gets to produce spirits using barley or grains that they grow themselves, and the effort has paid off in the form of a supremely rich and powerful malt whisky. When it comes to flavour intensity, the 12.3 truly sets itself apart.
All new releases, including the Black Art 09.1 (RSP S$720) as well as all three whiskies in the Octomore 12 Series (12.1 RSP S$260; 12.2 RSP S$300; 12.3 RSP S$365), is now available on Rémy Cointreau’s LazMall, Shopee and Amazon stores.
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