The inaugural release from Dramfool is Lochindaal matured in a refill bloodtub cask.
Lochindaal is a medium-peated style of whisky produced at Bruichladdich Distillery. Malt with a peating level of 15ppm phenols is used, and only 250 casks of Lochindaal were ever produced by Bruichladdich.
A bloodtub is a 30 litre cask made with fresh oak and seasoned with sherry for 3 months. These were made to order for Jim McEwan at Bruichladdich by a Spanish cask maker, and shipped over to Islay with 5 litres of Oloroso sherry in each cask. Whisky matures very quickly in a bloodtub due to the high surface area to volume ratio, and should be bottled within 4 to 6 years to prevent the whisky from being over-influenced by the wood.
The Dramfool Lochindaal cask was filled in December 2010 and bottled in February 2016 making the whisky 5 years old. Only 42 bottles were yielded at a cask strength of 61.4%.
Colour: Deep amber with blood orange highlights, hinting at the clash of earthy and zest to come.
Nose neat: A morning stroll around Port Charlotte on a sunny Sunday morning. The smell of peat smoke hangs in the air everywhere, but down by the water, diesel fumes waft up from a smoky old puffer boat, its wheelhouse resplendent with a fresh coat of gloss paint. A gentle breeze brings in the faintest perfume of sweet blossom from the Machair. Somewhere in the village, someone’s cooking smoky bacon, while in the next room, grandad pokes at the charcoals in the fire and sharpens a pencil into the flames before settling down to the newspaper crossword and another cream toffee.
Taste neat: Like a medieval banquet in a glass. Peaty smoke fills the air as peppered morsels and smoked meats are garnished with dark and rich prunes, figs and dates. The mouthfeel is softer, with a creamy, buttery quality, while the sweetness abounds.
Nose diluted: The embers of a fire. There’s smoke, there’s charcoal and there’s ash, along with some smoky bacon – which is never a bad thing.
Taste diluted: Round, balanced and sweet, there’s a bit of everything here. The earthy umami of smoky and bacon gives way to a spritz of summer sweetness – cherries and plums bursting in the mouth and childhood memories of climbing trees and skint knees come rushing back with that faint hint of Germolene and fresh sticking plasters.