So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Bruichladdich 1991/2015 Gordon & Macphail #2775 2776 2780 vs Kininvie Batch 2 23 yo 1990

So I don’t have a lot of Bruichladdich – I just happened to have had a few heavily wine finished ones early one and never looked back. Which is a tad unfair considering how people seem to praise well aged clean examples of the whisky like this one.

I will say Bruichladdich distillery has a real energy around it. Both times I’ve been there, there were always distillery staff coming and going, and real cheer greets you in the store. Also the store must have the most number of bottles open of any distillery on Islay – and of course if you didn’t already know, Bruichladdich is unpeated, making it along with Bunnahabhain the minority on the island. Port Charlotte and Octomore are Bruichladdich’s heavily peated variants.




The stills say something of the whisky. They are rather on the small side at 6m, but look at the narrowness and height of the neck. It is barely 1m across at the base, such a narrow and lifting neck suggests a light elegant whisky. Which is exactly its house style.

Also of note – Bruichladdich gets some 25% of it’s barley from local farmers, which allowed it to issue an organic whisky some years ago.

Bruichladdich 1991/2015 Gordon & Macphail #2775 2776 2780 53.3%


Nose Nose: Lightly malted, lightly buttered, fragrant with tart green plum skins and all manner of sour fruit that make you salivate. Tad salty even with the freshness of sea air. Refined and elegant.

Taste Palate: Yes very pleasant, very genteel. More salt here and even a hint of earth that cannot possibly be peat, can it? Or is it the power of suggestion. Very fresh, very tart-juicy, and indeed getting earthier. Very clean though. Tree bark? Gentian violet? Sage? Dried thyme?

Finish Finish: Rather long, dried leaves, curiously earthier and rootier. Back to raw malt.


Very pleasing though certainly would not stand up after a few Laphroaigs or a few anything actually. In fact its own strength numbs its more subtle aspects after a few swallows. Wonderful elegant style that is remarkable in itself.


Kininvie Batch 2 23 yo 1990 42.6%

For a head to head, I chose a light speysider which also needs a sparring partner. These were duty free offerings from years back, and if you pass through Changi, you will still see them on the shelves.. They were a little pricey you see.

Kininvie is basically a little distillery set up within Balvenie’s grounds, except ‘little’ is relative here. It churns out some 4+ million litres that ends up in William Grant & Sons’ blends.


Nose Nose: Pillow soft and velvety rich. That’ll be the sherry I think. Dark purple plums allowed to go soft and mushy. Some spice and dark wood notes from the cask, some licorice even. Curious, the spirit itself suggests some brighter pear and fresh cut fruit notes. Clearly quite sherry and wood driven, but its hard to say what begins where, which is great! Overall a light body with a sensuous nose.

Taste Palate: Sweet stewed fruit notes, and woody! Obvious tannins and wood spice, but its quite balanced here. Though somewhat lacking the rich balance of the nose. More tart elements showing now, with grated ginger heat and some pepper. Orange cordial. Not exactly malty, but..  sugared cornflakes? Lacks some coherence and finesse on the tongue.

Finish Finish: Getting rather hot and spirituous actually. Still orangey and ginger-spicy.


The nose was the best here. Amazing what just a little first fill sherry can do for a nose, but the tongue tells the full tale.

Conclusion: Both belong in the light bodied camp, but even so, the Kininvie seems to suggest a soft lushness one would associate with Speysiders while Bruichladdich, I daresay, is in a class of it’s own – daring to be elegant and lightly fruity when the neighbours are the biggest loudest kids on the block.

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2016 by in Bruichladdich, Kininvie and tagged , .
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