Bruichladdich 2001 “Resurrection” – Review

I have to admit, I’m always a little conflicted when I see a bottle of “Resurrection”, and lord knows a person can’t help but see a bottle this garishly blue from a few miles away.  On the one hand, I like the type and design of the tin and the bottle, and the matte blue color is, I guess, pleasing on some level but on the other hand…should whisky come in a bottle the color of a Fisher-Price toy or something out of a Sandy Skoglund photo? Would any self-respecting Highlander be caught dead ordering a dram from a bottle this color after striding along Lochs and Glens all day in inclement weather? Would the poet Burns wax rhapsodic about whisky sprung from a robin’s egg blue decanter that completely hides the golden nectar within?  Come to think of it, he might, especially if that golden nectar inside was good stuff…which it is.

2001’s “Resurrection” was Bruichladdich’s first official bottling after Murray McDavid bought and completely renovated the distillery, which had been shuttered since 1994. It’s a 7-year-old, non chill-filtered dram which uses a mild 10ppm peated barley, and comes in a…very…distinctive…bright…

Tried this one at the May K&L tasting at Martin’s West in Redwood city.

The Nose:  Well, I was expecting the soft, round, sweetened peat smoke, but I wasn’t expecting a unique savory quality.  It took a while to figure out, but then, I got it…there was a bit of baked lasagna to this one…in a pretty good way.  Faint diesel notes and some Vin Santo/raisin also mixed with the sea salt and peat to create an interestingly appetizing, laid back Islay nose.

The Palate: Rolling, soft mouthfeel, gently builds a small ashy peat fire. There’s more smoke than I expected for such a mildly peated whisky but it is a softer, rounder smoke. There’s just a touch of oak and a little hint of golden raisin as well, but as the smoke builds a real spiciness takes over for the finish.  There’s not much of the meaty savory quality on the palate at all, that seems to hit early on the nose then fade as the malt opens up.

The Finish:  Long and straightforward, peat smoke and spice.

Thoughts: This reminded me of a softer, languid, almost tender Laphroaig 10. It’s definitely an Islay malt, but it’s not really very aggressive…which, given the baby’s bonnet blue bottle, I suppose I could’ve guessed. It’s fairly complex and mature tasting for something that’s only seven years old. The savory quality might not appeal to all, but it’s an interesting dram and certainly worth trying as it does mark the re-birth of one of the scotch world’s more adventurous distillers.

Bruichladdich 2001 “Resurrection”, Islay

46% ABV

Score:  85

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