Bruichladdich Distillery issued the following press release today called "First Growth Whisky": The Auld Alliance is alive and well as Bruichladdich release a series of whiskies influenced by Franceâ€™s greatest chateaux of all time. The famous 1855 Classification of Bordeaux rated chateaux into 5 groups according to quality and price of their wines. The First Growths were the best. Today these legendary estates use casks coopered from the finest French oak, 150 to 200 year old trees from the forests of TronÃ§ais, Allier and Vosges. Costing up to four times more than an American oak equivalent, the flavour-rich oak staves are weathered outside for 4 years for extra finesse.
Bruichladdich Distillery managing director Mark Reynier, ex wine trade, works closely with master distiller Jim McEwan who is also a cooper: 'Itâ€™s simple: if you want the worldâ€™s best casks you have to go to the best sources. Only the top domains can unstintingly afford barrels of this quality. 'They ruthlessly cull them from their cellars after only 18 months, before the oak gets tired; it is their fastidious attention to detail that is our gain.' Well maintained, still fresh, and loaded with flavours these casks are skillfully used by Jim to impart some of their refined character to his maturing whisky. Continue reading.... 'If you put identical whisky into similar casks, that had the same type of wine in them, you would sort of expect a pretty similar result - right? 'Wrong. We were astounded. Though it is very subtle indeed, each chateauâ€™s basic character comes through. So weâ€™ve kept them as 6 separate bottlings. It sounds pretentious but itâ€™s as if a hint of the winesâ€™ mystical terroir, hidden within the finesse of the oak, has been sought out by our spirit.' The unusual concept should appeal to both whisky and wine fans alike - especially those who like to compare and contrast between different bottlings. 'Weâ€™re actually responsible for this cask quality in more ways than you think. Because if it wasnâ€™t for continual war between England and France, and her need to build naval ships, both Colbert and then Napoleon, would never have planted these exceptional oak trees in the first place!'
The First Growth series comprises of 6 limited edition CuvÃ©es - labelled A to F. Each is a 16 year old Bruichladdich, American oak matured, with an additional cask evolution in French oak casks from each of the 1855 first growth chateaux, including Sauternes. The UK retail price will be around Â£40. For more information regarding sales contact Andrew at email@example.com or for more details contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org