There’s a misconception about Scotch Whisky that it’s always heavily peated, searing the taste buds off the tongue, allowing the drinker to breath fire for a few short moments. In particular, the Islay region is to blame for the stereotype, producing some of the smokiest whiskys anywhere. Whether someone prefers peated or unpeated whisky is completely down to personal preference, but, unpeated whisky is far better for those new to the spirit – they tend to be smoother and fresher for those not yet acclimatized to the drink.
THE CLASSIC LADDIE – ISLAY SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Bruichladdich comes from that same remote island of Islay famous for peated whisky, but they create some excellent alternatives. The distillery was built in 1881 and was resuscitated back into action in 2001. One of the main attractions to this brand is there insistence on using traditional Victorian machinery and, for The Classic Laddie, 100% Scottish Barley. Triple distilled, and matured for its entire life by the shores of Loch Indaal, subtle notes of honey and lemon resonate through the spirit. Housed in American barrels originally used for Bourbon, hints of spice arise.
Notice the packaging and bottle design for The Classic Laddie: that colour echoes the aroma of a neon vodka bar advertised for the over 21’s. It’s a conscious move away from the image of the whisky drinker as tweeded gentleman lounging next to a wood burning fire, pipe in hand; leather-bound book on a rounded mahogany table. Even the word ‘progressive’ adorning the bottle and package stimulates the idea of the modern whisky drinker. It’s a bold move from the company, sure to alienate some and sure to look out of place in a traditional whisky trader. But this is exactly the point; It looks at home in a Shoreditch bar frequented by those working in the creative industries.