Young ‘irresponsible’ whisky defeats older rivals

2
985


A controversial 3 year old single malt whisky inspired by a 1695 account of ʻperilous whiskyʼ, deemed irresponsible by the Scotch Whisky Association and feted in song by bards has been rated better than some 40 year old single malts.

Specialist whisky retailer Royal Mile Whiskies organised a tasting of 126 whiskies during the Edinburgh Festival where customers voted on their preference.

Bruichladdich X4+3, our experimental, quadruple distilled single malt came 6th ahead of drams up to 13 times its age.


A controversial 3 year old single malt whisky inspired by a 1695 account of ʻperilous whiskyʼ, deemed irresponsible by the Scotch Whisky Association and feted in song by bards has been rated better than some 40 year old single malts.

Specialist whisky retailer Royal Mile Whiskies organised a tasting of 126 whiskies during the Edinburgh Festival where customers voted on their preference.

Bruichladdich X4+3, our experimental, quadruple distilled single malt came 6th ahead of drams up to 13 times its age.

Earlier this year Bruichladdich X4+3 was infamously referred to as “not cooking oil. Not diesel oil. Sewing machine oil” by whisky guru Charlie McLean in a piece of self-confessed Burnsʼ Day mischief-making by Times hacks.

The BBCʼs James May and Oz Clarke, acknowledging the extraordinary purity of the 4 times distillation, managed to power a sports car at speeds in excess of 100 mph using ʻstraight-off-the-stillʼ X4, at an eye-watering 90% ABV.

James May referred to the youthful three year old version of X4 in his TV series Drink to Britain as his ʻnirvana dramʼ.

French drinks giant Pernod Ricard recently launched a campaign, “Age Matters”, to reinforce the relevance of the age statement for single malt whisky which is being questioned by a new wave of smaller distillers.

Bruichladdich MD, Mark Reynier, said about the X4+3: “the ʻ+3ʼ refers to its age in cask; yes its young, yes its high strength, yes its controversial. We were just fascinated by the 1695 reference to usquebaugh-baul, the Gaelic for perilous whisky, that we had to give it a shot.”

“Of course this is a work in progress. We are maturing part of the X4 in virgin oak casks where its astounding purity and strength is drawing out flavours never experienced before in a Scotch whisky.”

“Itʼs very exciting; it shows you just what can be achieved with exceptional raw ingredients, a bit of distilling skill and whole leap of imagination. This result proves if you take your time to do it right you donʼt need half a century to pass on by.”

The Spirit of Whisky Fringe 2010 results:

  • 1. Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old
  • 2. Old Pulteney 17 Year Old
  • 3. Caledonian 1965 Clan Denny
  • 4. Glenmorangie Signet
  • 5. Bruichladdich 17 Year Old Rum Cask
  • 6. Bruichladdich x4 +3
  • 7. Balvenie 17 Year Old Madeira
  • 8. Port Ellen 1979 Old & Rare
  • 9. Springbank 18 Year Old
  • 10. Glenfarclas 40 Year Old

In 1695 Martin Martin, a Hebridean traveller, wrote of an ancient powerful spirit known as “usquebaugh-baul” (oosh-ker-vah-voll), Gaelic for “perilous whisky”.

He was told: “…The first taste affects all of the members of the body: Two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; and if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life.”

Bruichladdich X4+3 is is a limited edition bottling at 63.5% ABV. Distributed in the UK by Blavod and is available in whisky specialists only. Contact Andrew Gray 0774 068 3115 or laddieshop.com