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#154

STARING DOWN THE BARREL

31 Mar 2018 By

First Time Ever, In The World (Probably), We Attended a Whisky Blind Tasting Where The Original Bottling (OB) Was Pitted Against Its Independent Bottling (IB). Let The Games Begin!

Event: Bruichladdich OB Vs IB

Venue: The Single Cask, Chijmes, Singapore.

Time: 29 March, 2018. 7.30pm.

Hosts: Bar Manager Brendan Pillai, and Bruichladdich APAC Brand Ambassador Chloe Wood

I’ve done blind tastings, but never like this. If this has happened elsewhere in the world, we haven’t heard about it: A blind tasting of a brand’s original bottling against its independent bottling, in this case, two sets – Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte – and we had to first tell the difference, and figure out the actual expression. Part one was tough enough, part two? Fuggedaboutit!

So whose crazy idea was it?

OB VS IB BRUICHLADDICH

Pillai: “This was basically an idea I had at the start of last year. We couldn’t do it then because of constraints and time commitment, but towards the end of last year, I broached the subject with Chloe, and both of us were very interested in this. One thing led to another, it took quite a bit of preparation; but the idea was pretty much fully formed at the start of February, and we just powered through.”

Wood: “It’s something that Bruichladdich as a brand doesn’t really do, but the initial idea was something that was quite attractive to me, to be honest, ‘cos we’re trying to showcase something a little bit different.

“For me this is a way to highlight the key aspects of what whiskies we are tasting. I think it’s really interesting, even if the IBs are favoured over the OBs. It’s these key flavours we’ve talked about so many times at tastings, but it’s to see if people recognise them – it’s not about if one is better than the other.

“I think it’s gonna be a real talking point; it comes from the same place, that’s the basis of it. So they’re not really targeted against each other, I think it more about what people’s palates are receptive to as well.”

OB VS IB BRUICHLADDICH

Trust me, much harder that you realise…

Pillai: “It’s about the origins of the distillate, it’s from the same place, it’s just a different interpretation of it. There’s the official bottling interpretation, there’s the independent bottling interpretation. There might be some similarities or differences, but at the end of the day, it’s about celebrating the distillery and the style.

“It had to be Bruichladdich, in some ways we are a Bruichladdich bar. It’s a brand that has a wealth of official bottlings and independent bottlings, and considering that we carry the independents in here. That variation in there is what was appealing, because you’ve got unpeated, peated, super heavily peated. All of them represented in such a nice way from an independent point of view.”

Wood: “The selection of independents here is phenomenal, the whiskies that you can taste from Bruichladdich, which is nice because the audience that have come to do tasting with me and Brendan, they’re done a few of the core range tastings, so it’s like literally trying to twist it on its head and give it something very new, but still keep it Bruichladdich, keep it true to the brand – just give it a different style of tasting.”

[ Read ‘Bout Our Road Trip to Bruichladdich in Islay ]

OB VS IB BRUICHLADDICH

It was a tricky selection, and we did kinda figure out which set was Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte, but more than that, ppffffttt. Still, four good drams, one night… well, five actually.

OB VS IB BRUICHLADDICH

Specially hand carried from Islay by Ms Wood (now our fav brand ambassador!).

So we did win a whisky glass for our guesses, but in the end, everyone’s a winner.

The Single Cask is at #01-025 Chijmes Caldwell House, 30 Victoria Street, tel: 6837-0953.

Like this? 8 Things to Know About the Octomore 8 Series

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