As promissed, Bruichladdich distillery released Black Art 5. The fifth incarnation of this now legendary single malt is the first by head distiller Adam Hannett. As enigmatic as ever, the composition of casks remains a mystery.
“Just before Master Distiller Jim McEwan retired in 2015 he took me to one side and handed me his recipe for the next iteration, Black Art 5. It was an emotional moment, the handing over of responsibility of one of the greatest drams we’ve ever created. I have to say I took the recipe from Jim’s hand and dutifully ignored it. This had to be my Black Art,” said Adam Hannett, Head Distiller.
Black Art 05.1 is a 1992 expression and is now 24 year old. Naturally no information is given about the casks used, except that they were Oak.
The nose is complex and mystical with notes of raisins, plums, blackberries, licorice, pipe tobacco, and old wet leather such as you’d find if you left a football or a baseball glove out in the rain. The taste starts off dry and almost astringent before the fruit and spice notes kick in with a healthy slice of Christmas cake, powdered sugar, and the combination of chocolate and marshmallow that you’d find in a s’more (without the graham crackers).
Then, it morphs into something different with a subtle dry oakiness, dried peaches, apricots, and banana chips. The finish is dry and long, but subtle with dried fruits, a kiss of oak, and muted spices.
The ABV is 48,4%. This is a 12.000 bottle release.