Booze Review

Whisky Review – Bruichladdich 10 Year Old aka The Laddie Ten

The kids ask for toys and Daddy asks for whisky. That’s how Christmas has worked around my house for the past several years. Since the holidays are fast approaching, I need to pull together this year’s whisky wish list. Thanks to the interwebz, finding out about new releases has never been easier, but  making a wish list with whiskies that people will actually be able to find is a completely different story.

During a brief Friday night drinking session with Limpd, the topic of our whisky wish lists took center stage. Limpd mentioned that he might be placing an order with Master of Malt (Christmas shopping for his Pappy aka Il Duce), so I asked that he put Bruichladdich’s latest release, The Laddie Ten, on his shopping list since I wasn’t expecting to find it locally anytime soon, and I would (a) reimburse him immediately, and (b) split the shipping costs.

On Saturday afternoon, Limpd sent me a text and mentioned that the Wine and Spirits store near our neighborhood had several bottles of The Laddie Ten in stock. Since I didn’t feel like waiting until Christmas for a new whisky, I immediately went to the store and made the purchase. When we pulled into the parking lot, I pointed out the bottle to Mrs. G-LO. She responded with, “You can actually see the bottle from here?”, and then I said, “Of course I can! It’s the pretty blue tin, just under the “Whisky” sign, on the second shelf from the top, four bottles in, going from left to right.”. She was speechless.

So here’s the question: Why all this fuss over The Laddie Ten?

Here’s my answer…

Behind every great whisky is an equally great story. Bruichladdich’s The Laddie Ten is no exception. Here is what Bruichladdich has to say about this expression:

This is without doubt the most important release in our history, and very much a landmark for the distillery and the Bruichladdich team. It was an intensely emotional day, in the Spring of 2001, when we first broke the padlock on the Bruichladdich gates and took charge of this charismatic but much-neglected Victorian distillery on the far west Atlantic coast of Islay.

This spirit, malted from only Scottish barley for authenticity, slow-fermented for purity, trickle-distilled for creamy texture, and cask-filled at 70% for extra flavour, has been quietly slumbering in our Loch-side warehouses for the last 10 years, and we are immensely proud to offer this landmark dram to you now.

The true beginning of a new era.

And now for the review…

  • Appearance: Light amber color.
  • Aroma: A combination of sweet and herbal notes. Light brown sugar. Honey. Fresh cut grass. Menthol. Some mustiness and hints of smoke in the background. Adding a touch of water brings out a bit of licorice.
  • Taste: Slightly oily mouthfeel. Coats the middle of your tongue at first. Starts off slightly sweet with hints of toffee and possibly some caramel. At mid-palate, pepper and cinnamon heat takes over. The spiciness builds, but never overwhelms. Peppery and wintergreen heat in the finish. The flavors linger for quite some time and leave your mouth all warm and tingly.
  • ABV: 46%

We opened The Laddie Ten this past Saturday night during our tribute to The Whisky Dog. The ROK, The Wookie, and Limpd each had a taste. The ROK said “That’s a nice whisky G-LO.” The Wookie made his whisky face and voiced his displeasure. Limpd was undecided (he had a Bruichladdich 20, a Balvenie 21 PortWood, and several other bottles on the table, so he was a bit distracted). As far as my opinion, I am really enjoying this whisky. Although it’s from Islay, it doesn’t have the usual smokiness that is associated with Islay whiskies such as Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, etc.. It has some spice, but it’s balanced with some sweetness so that it’s never overwhelming. Much like other Bruichladdich whiskies that I’ve sampled over the past few years, I found this to be a very fragrant and quaffable expression. Me likey this whisky!

22 replies »

  1. You blogged about one of my favorites! I can see how the team may have been distracted by the older beauties on the table but think this is such a great whisky, easy drinking and easily shared. Great tasting notes. Funny enough, I just had a glass of this last night! (and picked up a bottle of the Bruichladdie 12yr and a Pappy van Winkle 10yr on Sunday … to say I was overjoyed would be huge understatement).


  2. Hi G-Lo, amusing post! I’m curious – have you had the Bruichladdich 12, and if so, how do they compare? I’ve got a sample of the 12 that I’ve been meaning to get around to, and was mildly annoyed to find out that as soon as I got it the 12 has been superseded by the 10, which hopefully will be around for a while unlike other Laddie expressions.


    • Glad you were amused. I do try to keep it light.

      I know that I’ve had the 12, and I remember it being very tasty, but I can’t really give you any insights as to which I prefer. My advice… crack it open and give it a try. Only way to know if you like it.


  3. Hey G-LO – I really liked the elaboration on your financial divvying up with Limpd :).

    I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting The Laddie Ten but I did recently sample their Port Charlotte at Whisky Live (which one I can’t quite remember – I was two sheets to the wind at that stage) and it was very enjoyable.

    This experience, and your sterling recommendation above, have given me the stimulus to seek out more Bruichladdich.


    • Thanks Patrick! Financial terms must always be laid out explicitly. None of this “we’ll work out the details later” nonsense.

      Bruichladdich is a really interesting distillery. I reviewed one of the Port Charlottes a while back. PC6 I believe. Quite a bold and smoky spirit. Would love to try their Black Arts and Octomore releases.


  4. I have alerted PETA to the atrocity committed by these heinous Scots! Who distills any sort of adult beverage from the bodily fluids of a long departed and beloved Hollywood Collie? Wrong on so many levels.


  5. G-Lo,

    Ever since Miracle Max turned me on to Bruichladdich, I have been a big fan. I have had the 12, the Links, the Rocks and now the Twenty and I have to say that the Laddie Ten was a little bit like the Rocks. The taste just wasn’t as refined as the other Bruichladdich’s and had a bit of a charcoal aftertaste. It wasn’t bad, I just like the others a lot better.


    • You know me… I have yet to meet a briquet that I haven’t liked. Seriously though, I didn’t find it to be very smoky. I think you need to try it again.


    • Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Although I haven’t had it in a couple weeks (been trying other whiskies and beer. One man can only drink so much after all), I am definitely still enjoying it. They do make a very nice whisky. Look forward to reading your review!


      • I hear you, it’s so hard to balance trying new stuff with actually drinking what’s already open! I’m trying to be better about spending time with a bottle now rather than rushing to open the next one. It takes some massive self-control, however.

        The Laddie Ten just came available in PA via internet order. I may get to it in the coming months, but I’ve got some good ones in the cabinet I need to get to first.


        • You are so right. Sadly, we seem to lack that control and now have too many bottles open. To remedy the situation, G-Lo, the Wookie and I had a “dregs night”. Maybe, now we’ll see the Laddie 10 & the 20 back out on the table for a little Bruichladdich refresher.


    • Dregs Night is a good idea for sure. Until the next morning. Especially when that next morning is a Monday. Like the song says, “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays…”


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