Bruichladdich 18 and 30 Aged Years: Luxury Redefined

Petra Milde |

The Islay distillery presents very special bottlings


At the beginning of February, the Bruichladdich distillery announced the launch of the "Luxury Redefined" series. An 18-year-old and a 30-year-old Bruichladdich Single Malt Whisky make the start. The two bottlings should also be available here at in the course of this week.

Bruichladdich 18 Years

With the Bruichladdich 18 Year Old, the distillery commemorates its new start after the Sleeping Beauty awoke in 2001. It is a permanent addition to the Bruichladdich portfolio according to the advance announcements. To what extent it will actually be permanently available remains to be seen. The 18 year old whisky was bottled at 50% ABV.

„This is an ultra-high provenance single malt. Every single element of The Bruichladdich Eighteen – from the specific harvest and barely varietals used to the exact casks it has matured in – is fully traceable. Which, for a whisky of this age, is quite incredible. 18 years ago, we distilled spirit from our first ever crop of home-grown Islay barley and our passion to diversify and champion our cereal growing programme has never wavered. It’s about making delicious whisky with real provenance which also benefits our community – and The Bruichladdich Eighteen is the embodiment of this ethos," says Head Distiller Adam Hannett.

Producer's tasting notes

Nose: Beautifully fragrant with ripe peach and honeysuckle, hints of violet and lavender come through on the nose – balanced with vanilla and creamed coconut from the toasted American oak. A medley of tropical fruit comes to fore, with melon, peaches, apricot, and vibrant citrus, while the influence of the oak brings honey, caramel vanilla custard and rich crème brulee.

Palate: Luxurious and viscous, honey, butterscotch and fresh fruits coat the palate, followed by cereal notes of sweet, syrup soaked porridge, barley sugar and toasted oak. Vibrant tropical fruit and the subtle presence of toasted oak with a hint of leather follow, with honeycomb adding to the smooth, sweet character.

Finish: The quintessential character of Bruichladdich single malt comes through on the finish. The 18 Year Old has the classic minerality for which Bruichladdich is renowned, perfectly balanced with oak, stoned fruit and a delicate floral bouquet.

Bruichladdich 30 Years

The Bruichladdich 30 Year Old is a tribute to the distillery's heritage just before it closed in 1994. „This 30 year old single malt not only celebrates the resurrection of our Victorian distillery but pays homage to the men who laid down this spirit three decades ago. The future of Bruichladdich was uncertain in the early 1990s. From the brink of permanent closure to now the largest private employer on Islay, Bruichladdich Distillery and the local community has slowly rebuilt and flourished over the past three decades – all while this spirit has quietly matured,” says Hannett.

The whisky spent its entire life in these ex-bourbon casks before being bottled as a complex, elegant 30-year-old Bruichladdich at 43.2% ABV.

Producer's tasting notes

Nose: The gentle influence of oak opens on the nose, bringing notes of coconut, wild gorse flowers, Brazil nuts and a hint of vanilla. Subtle floral notes of geranium and rose are paired with pear drops and candied lemons, with soft spices and a whisper of cinnamon complementing Bruichladdich’s signature maritime character.

Palate: The delicate sweetness of toasted oak comes to the fore, followed by light fruits, honey, fudge and a hint of leather. The gentle floral profile opens with time, revealing an immense depth of flavour. The American oak shapes the softness of the flavour, with the delicate salty tang of fresh Islay sea air unmistakable on the palate.

Finish: The spirit’s all-Islay maturation has a significant influence on the finish, with a vibrant tang of sea salt balanced with warm oak, while soft vanilla and sweet coconut lingers.

Focus on sustainability in the packaging

For the Luxury Redefined series, Bruichladdich has focussed on environmental friendliness by using fully recyclable paper pulp and 100% green electricity. The packaging was designed and created in collaboration with global creative partner Thirst and James Cropper, a UK luxury packaging specialist.

Images: Bruichladdich

Petra Milde is a freelance author of books and specialist writing about spirits and food. She has been supporting the editorial team since 2015 and creates informative and entertaining articles in the news section.

Besides her writing work, she moderates tastings and can be met at spirits fairs, both behind the stands and in front of them, looking for new products and interesting people to talk to.