Whisky Review: Cadenhead Single Cask Bruichladdich 1988 Aged 30 Years

Style: Fruity and Grassy

Creamy yoghurt mixing nicely with tiny pineapple and melon chunks at the front, sweet and comfortable. Fresh-cut grass brushes magnify and transform into greater spearmint pulses, followed by some camphor and white peppercorns which makes the distillate quite bright and vibrant. The spirit hotness gradually subsides and give way to vanilla, almond milk and faint purple violet notes (floral, not soapy) to tuck in. Thinnest slice of canned peach, chilli flakes and macadamias at the back. Quite nice.

Tropical fruits boiling down to syrupy form, passionfruit, pineapple, peaches, mandarin and even some strawberries in action to give a sweet head start. While there are plenty of fruitiness parading through the early-half, the herbaceous side of the spirit – mainly peppermint, Thai basil, mint and red chillies plays from the deep, anchoring as well as spiking up the expression. Some fruits make a comeback and go creamy, caramel beads rolling off white peaches. Carrot cake and oak shavings. Dry barley tail.

Earthier and greener as the fruits making another slow retreat. Nutmeg and sawdust thinly cover over the summer fruits. A small strawberry reflux at the end.

Although the label says it is a Bourbon cask, personally I do find there are minimal traces of sherry in this. Anyway, this is a rather vibrant Laddie which shows a good level of maturity. The fruits are condensed, softened and chiselled beautifully by time whereas the spirit remains strong, compact and controlled, making it gentle but focused. Granted, there are inherent limitations to old school unpeated Laddie, but this is as good as it gets. Just one step away from two stars.

☆ [Recommended]


[48.9%| 1988 Distilled| 2018 Bottled| Independent Bottling| Single Cask | Cask Strength| Non Coloured| 174 Bottles| *+]