No One Knows What's in Bruichladdich's Newest Scotch
Scotch maker Bruichladdich doesn’t usually keep secrets. The brand tends to share pertinent details about its bottlings with customers, including barley origin, types of casks, and beyond. But Bruichladdich’s Black Art collection—first introduced in 2012—purposefully cloaks its whiskies in mystery.
The newest addition to the collection, Bruichladdich Black Art Edition 11, continues the puzzle. All we know? That head distiller Adam Hannett created the whisky using “pre-renaissance” casks—meaning they were filled before Bruichladdich shuttered in 1994—which have been maturing on Islay for a minimum of 24 years. (Bruichladdich reopened in 2001).
“Each year I welcome the creation of Black Art with open arms,” says Hannett. “As a whisky maker, it is liberating to have complete creative freedom. It’s a chance to journey deep into our Islay warehouses and experiment, question, and push the realms of possibility.”
Bottled at 44.2% ABV, the new whisky radiates a beautiful tawny color. The nose delivers initial aromas of dried fruits, leather, and citrus leading to notes of fresh flowers, poached pear, cherry, mango, oak, and honey. The palate finds more dried fruits, barley sugar, leather, and oak, followed by butterscotch, praline, and hints of citrus, coconut, and apple. Flavors deepen further with the addition of warming wood spice, cereal, dark plums, and marzipan on the back end. The finish features oak, fig, and marzipan with touches of honey and fruitcake.
“As a whisky brand committed to giving our customers as much information as we possibly can, each Black Art single malt signals a moment of total trust,” says Hannett. “It’s about putting faith in myself as the whisky maker, but also having trust in the time-honoured craft and the pursuit of unforgettable flavour.”
Black Art Edition 11 is aged 24 years and “created in total secrecy.” Only Hannett knows what’s in the final bottling.