What's in a name? Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage whisky is called whisky because it's produced in Scotland. Were it from America it would be spelled Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage whiskey, rather than whisky.
I've just tasted my first glass of The Organic Multi-Vintage and I found it great. Neat, it holds inside green apples dipped into the malty notes. Something like an Italian apple-Grappa or a very alcoholic south-tyrol apfelsaft. The apple wins the first sip, and the alcohol vol. demands water. With a teaspoon and a half of water at the nose, Italian "crema" ice-cream comes out, and it becomes almost a crème anglaise, or an Italian "crema pasticcera". The finish is not as long as I would like, but there is, and cereal notes keeps longer then the apple ones, which disappear almost immediately while swallowing. I'm not an expert drinker. A part from some blended whiskies, I've tasted some of the most famous Islay peaty ones. My favourite one, even comparing to an Ardbeg 10, is the Caol Ila 12 for its balance and complexity, so take my review as the one of an enthusiast who doesn't find the heaven in Lagavulin 16, who thinks that Talisker 10 doesn't worth the price, and who appreciates more the balance of complexity and deliacy, than the alcohol punch. Actually this Bruichladdich Organic MV is not as complex as a Caol Ila 12 in my opinion, and surely it hasn't that long finish. But to me it's been a pleasing different whisky. But it's been my first Bruichladdich too!
Bruichladdich seems to be on a noble mission to bring "terroir" to Islay whisky, and perhaps to finally bring some control of the product back into the hands of the Ileachs who make the stuff. The idea here is less to promote organic farming than to promote hand-crafted authenticity and local autonomy, and the star of this particular show is the barley, produced by small local farmers. To give the barley center stage, the peat and barrel effects are kept appropriately subtle. I can easily imagine what the new-make spirit must have tasted like. This is incredibly smooth stuff, the heart of the heart, with no trace of nasty feints. This spirit does not need extended aging, which would only ruin it anyway. We are being treated to a lesson here. This is what Islay barley is like; this is what Scotland can do when it wants to. Taste, and learn. The nose made me imagine what a cotton candy made from spun brown barley sugar might smell like. The taste transported me to an Islay barley-field on a warm, sea-breezy early autumn day. This whiksy is a love letter, but also a demonstration that the people who live and work on Islay know best how to use and care for that island.