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February 25, 2024

Bruichladdich’s New 30-Year-Old Scotch Is Made From Victorian Casks Almost Lost to History

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Bruichladdich’s history is volatile. Since its founding in 1881, it’s been mothballed on four separate occasions, most recently from 1994 to 2000. The last 24 years, however, has seen the Islay whisky maker flourish with its heavily peated Scotch whiskies—especially the Octomore collection—grabbing headlines and awards across the globe. 

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Often lost in that discussion is , the brand’s unpeated house style, which is the whisky at the heart of the newly unveiled Luxury Redefined range.

Luxury Redefined arrives with two whiskies, and , the brand’s first permanent, high-age statement whiskies. Each release celebrates important moments in the distillery’s history. The Eighteen honors the first single malts created after the distillery’s reopening in 2001, while the Thirty celebrates the whiskies made before its 1994 shuttering.

Each bottle’s packaging is made from fully recyclable paper pulp, completely plastic-free, and produced using 100 percent green energy. The brand takes its commitment to sustainability even further as each release in Luxury Redefined series is housed in the brand’s proprietary, lightweight glass bottle, which contains an average of 60 percent recycled glass.

Related: We’ve Tasted Hundreds of Whiskeys. These Are the Best in the World

The Bruichladdich Eighteen

champions what’s made the distillery unique over the last quarter century—namely, its focus on terroir through the use of local ingredients and support of the surrounding community. In 2004, the distillery began working with one farmer to grow a crop of local barley. That project has since expanded to 20 farming partners, who are responsible for over 50 percent of the barley used for production today.

“Eighteen years ago, we distilled spirit from locally grown barley and our passion to diversify and champion our growing program has never wavered,” says Adam Hannett, Bruichladdich’s head distiller. “Every element of The Bruichladdich Eighteen—from the specific harvest and barley varietals used, to the exact casks it has matured in—is fully traceable. At Bruichladdich Distillery, we’re committed to making delicious whisky with real provenance that benefits the community—and The Bruichladdich Eighteen is the embodiment of this ethos.”

Bottled primarily in ex-bourbon casks, as well as a few sauternes wine and port casks, The Bruichladdich Eighteen is matured exclusively on Islay. On the nose, it delivers aromas of honey, butterscotch, and citrus orange. The palate features a medley of tropical fruits and toasted mellow oak, leading to a finish filled with stone fruits, a delicate floral bouquet, and more oak.

The Bruichladdich Thirty

, meanwhile, is a story of resurrection. When the distillery shuttered in 1994, just two staff members remained to safeguard the remaining casks of whisky. Luckily, the Scotch survived and the distillery was reopened just seven years later.

“The Bruichladdich Thirty has been distilled using these legacy—almost lost—casks, capturing a pivotal moment in time for the distillery,” says Hannett. “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.”

Matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, The Bruichladdich Thirty offers aromas of toasted oak, honey, and soft vanilla. The palate delivers delicate flavors of dark chocolate and fresh sea air, followed by light fruits, honey, and a hint of leather. The finish features vibrant sea salt balanced with warm oak, soft vanilla, and coconut.

Related: The 15 Best Scotch Whiskies of 2024


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