Bruichladdich Rare & Old 1985, Hidden Glory

This is comprised of the final 22 casks of the 1985 vintage, matured first in third fill bourbon casks before being refilled into fresh bourbon by Jim McEwan in 2012. The liquid then had a final finish in French oak from one of the "greatest" (undisclosed) French Chateaux.

A bourbon cask bottling of Bruichladdich called Hidden Glory. Part of the Rare Cask Series, this has been aged for 32 years. 48.7% ABV. The final 22 casks of legacy stock filled into third-fill Bourbon casks, then re-casked into fresh Bourbon casks in 2012, before being moved into oak from ‘one of the greatest French Chateaux’ in 2017.

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Tasting Notes
Nose peaches, cranberries, mango. The topping off a crème brûlée. Strawberry jam – the filling from a Jammie Dodger and, in fact, the biscuit that surrounds it. Mixed peel, marzipan. Port – and plump, plum-like quality eventually. Golden syrup sponge cake. Then, once this heady stuff fades, we’re left with some epic floral notes: old roses, stock flowers, before returning to some lovely vanilla and burnt toffee.
Colour tawny, with a pinkish hue.
Taste To be hit with a disparate yet balanced array of notes on the flavour wheel is a joy – and in a way, no one flavour asserts dominance. A silky texture: strawberry jam, cranberries, salted caramel chocolate, hazelnuts. Armangac. Stem ginger. That syrup again, perhaps Maple Syrup rather than golden. There’s a headiness about this and – astonishingly – it’s not at all woody. The spices come from that gentle ginger – there’s nothing aggressive, not even remotely astringent. Chocolate returns: dark, but not bitter. But it isn’t the flavours in isolation, it’s the way they combine under that heavy, dense Laddie texture. This is finishing done in the correct, respectful manner to the spirit, rather than to mask flaws in the spirit. It’s an awesome bit of stock management. La petite mort.

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