When a sample arrived recently from Yorkshire based independent bottlers Claxtons I must admit to being rather over excited. You will (or should) know by now that I am a big fan of Bruichladdich. What you may not know however that as a recent convert to red wine one of my favourite varieties is Rioja.
This new release from the Claxtons stable was the product of one of my favourite distilleries which had been matured in a cask previously contaning my favourite wine. Whats not to like?
Claxtons are fast gaining a good reputation amongst single malt enthusiasts for quality bottlings at what are really quite reasonable prices. You can read my other reviews of some Claxtons releases here.
Bruichladdich 11yo, IB, Claxtons, Rioja wine cask, 57.2%abv, cask no: 1605-1052, bottle no 27/339, pre-release sample.
On the nose there is a pleasant woody hint, overlayed by redcurrants and hints of leather. There is a marvelous damp feeling lingering above some faint, yet recognisable, coastal notes.
If the nose is what intruiges you then the palate is what captivates.
Woody notes combine beautifully with notes of blackcurrant and raspberry jam. A savoury tone starts to emerge as the earthy elements reveal themselves. You can almost taste a dunnage warehouse here. The leather notes are present again along with gentle hints of cigar.
The palate becomes acidic in nature as the character of the wine cask becomes prominent towards the finish but it flows nicely with a slight strawberry infused sweetness emerging towards the very end of a long finish.
It is bottled at a touch over 57% but isnt too agressive at that abv. Water definately opens it up and releases more fruit and some earthy tones.
Genuinnely a stunning dram and one I wish I had bought more of. At the time of writing it was still avaliable here but the 339 bottles wont last long.
Only minor grumble is the shape of the bottle. Its reminiscent of a large aftershave bottle and is slighlty difficult to pour.
**Disclaimer: I did receive a pre release sample from Claxtons but after tasting it have since bought a bottle**