These are the DIY bottlings available exclusively to visitors to the distillery. A valinch, possibly from a Spanish term, is the name applied to a large, copper pipette used to take cask samples from whisky barrels. Bruichladdich believe that if you have made the effort to get to the distillery on Islay then you deserve something just a little extra special.
Valinchs are by definition only ever at cask strength, from a single barrel, and selected by Jim for individuality. Each Valinch released has its own label and title, usually to commemorate a specific event.
The Spring 2013 valinch release, sees a 1992 vintage, bottled in 2013 (by my own fair hand for this one) a 21 year old, from a bourbon cask, finished in a rum cask, only 700 bottles and an ABV of 52.2%. We have bottle number 61.
Nose: After the initial alcohol burn, comes rum and vanilla, honeyed apricots and soft brown sugar. Then comes the tropical notes, pineapple, bananas, mango and guava all fighting for supremacy, candied orange peel and slight liquorice allsorts, then comes a slight hint of wax, like receiving a beautiful letter with a still warm seal. A light touch of white pepper is the last to fight through.
Palate: Hot, you can feel the alcohol right away, although it’s not quite as hot as you would first think. Tingles on the lips and the tongue, with vanilla infused pineapple being the first flavour exploding on the tongue. Next comes the rum, creamy and sweet, like rum and raisin ice cream, softening the burn of the alcohol and paving the way for softer chocolate and mint flavours to come through. The peppery heat and delicious tingle still lingers, but layer upon layer of sweetness shines through.
Finish: Long and ever evolving, this is a dream dram that has it all, heat, pepper, sweetness, honey, mint, bitter chocolate and lashings of vanilla with a great fruity, rum finish, ending in a hint of mocha.
If you have the chance, give this a try, an absolutely splendid example of Bruichladdich at their finest in my humble opinion.