Review: Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1

That Jim McEwan is a crafty fellow to reopen the Bruichladdich door for me. That door opened and closed really quickly years ago when I first tried the “unpeated” Laddie Ten. I assumed that anything Bruichladdich was going to be overwhelmingly peaty because of the Islay location of the distillery. As it turns out, that’s not the case. Older Laddies range tremendously from one end of the flavor spectrum to the other. I’ve since gained an appreciation for many releases from this wonderful distillery.

Black Art is and will likely remain a mystery to everyone but Mr. McEwan. I hear that each release is slightly different but it’s all high quality, well-aged (~20 year) whisky. 4.1 is a 1990 vintage bottled in 2013, making this release 23 years old.

blackart41

Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1 - 49.2% ABV
Category Notes
Appearance Copper
Nose Soft sweetness, honey, cloves, milk chocolate, vanilla, sea salt, slightly briny, orange, blackberries and raspberries. A wine note appears after a few minutes.
Taste Big spice, cinnamon, mulling spices, vanilla, subtle oak, red berries, a bit of sourness, sultanas, stewed fruits, dried cherries.
Finish A truly decadent finish. Malty, sherry, chocolate covered cherries. Oak lingers for a while at the end as well as the resurgence of some saltiness.
Overall Thoughts Complex, fruity, and that chocolate note really works for me. This is the first Black Art I've tried. Hopefully it's not the last.
Total Score 94/100