The wild, Atlantic-facing coast of Islay was the inspiration behind this third release of Bruichladdich’s Barley series. Harvested in 2006 and distilled in 2007, the grain was grown for Bruichladdich in the Minister’s Field at Rockside Farm. A very slow distillation gently coaxed the delicate oils and flavour compounds from the barley and, coupled with the use of casks that specially selected to preserve those flavours, the result is a whisky of exceptional complexity and a sense of place. Honed, muscular and lithe, the maltiness of the barley is very much at the fore.
A charming dram, Islay Barley does exactly what it says on the tin: it lets the barley speak. Grown on the exposed western coast of Islay, the barley is characterful and, without being peated or taking on strong oak flavours, its warm, malty character shines through. Alter Ego: The Waltons; a product of its time and of its serially cereal environment, it has an innately decent character that is entirely untainted by the outside world and all the more memorable for it. We’re not sure they’d say goodnight with a dram in the Walton household, though.