Last week my family went on a short vacation to Florida, and whenever I am somewhere new I try to find something that is not available where I live. There were actually a few bottles of interest, but I eventually settled on the Bruichladdich Links edition “16th Hole, Augusta”.

While I do not normally fall for such marketing ploys, I have been impressed with every offering that I have tried from the Islay distillery and this 14 year old failed to disappoint.

This is a limited release, with only 18,000 bottles according to the Bruichladdich website. As is typical with any Bruichladdich, this is non-chill filtered and not coloured. It runs at 46% abv.

The first look showed a lighter colour than the photo on this page implies, and was more of an ochre colour than the golden tan seen here. First nose was very light – almost transparent – with soft florally notes and none of the impact you would typically expect. Adding a dash of water opened up the nose somewhat, with elements of citrus and a hint of the sherry cask used to age the whisky.

On tasting, the flavour builds up slowly and deliciously. It starts with a soft texture and slightly sweet flavour and builds to a more complex array of all the floral, citrus and ripe sherry notes found on the nose. Additional tastes bring out some of the oakiness, but there were never any of the typical Islay flavours (I barely detected any peatiness or smokiness).

The finish fades as deliciously as it built up and while not a long finish by any means, it definitely lingers enough to really enjoy the full and subtle flavours within.

All in all a very drinkable single malt that reminded me a lot of the 10yo Bruichladdich albeit with a little more complexity, fullness of flavour. All in all I’d rate this an 8 out of 10 with the recommendation to savour this as an aperitif or an early evening dram.

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