For a long time, legendary Master Distiller Jim McEwan called the shots at Bruichladdich’s Hebridean distillery. Thanks to him, whisky making at this distillery has become more like a science than anything else. That’s why we’ve come to think of it as a geek’s whisky – and exactly why we love it. This is one aspect of the progressive brand we hope never changes. What has changed, however, is the leadership at the distillery. Since Jim McEwan retired in 2015, the heavy responsibility of Head Distiller has fallen to Adam Hannett. Thankfully, he has risen up to the challenge.
Perhaps the most interesting cuvee conceived by Jim McEwan is the Bruichladdich Black Art. It has since become a fan favourite around the world. One of Hannett’s first tasks as Head Distiller was create a fifth iteration in this limited edition series. In fact, before he left, McEwan pulled Hannett aside and gave him a recipe to use, but the incoming headman decided he had to go with something that was entirely his.
Thankfully, it was the right move.
While the 4.1 was a sublime whisky with its richness and complexity, we think the 5.1 takes the cake (Sorry, Jim!).
The 1992 vintage is dark, and offers a plethora of notes that seem to change with every sip of a dram. What we particularly liked about the 5.1 was the mouthfeel. If you like whiskies that linger, you’re going to love this. The notes of rich fruits, tobacco, and leather meld perfectly with the lingering mouthfeel to give unique drinking experience.
The Black Art 5 is bottled at a cask strength of 48.4% and will be available in 12,000 individually numbered bottles. Try it for yourself at The Wall or La Maison du Whisky. Better yet, get a bottle for yourself at the latter location for $495.