perilous whisky

Bruichladdich X4+3 Quadrupled Whiskey

This month’s Whisky of the Month pays homage to the past, our grandfather’s, father’s, father’s past! This one is reaching back, way back! Bruichladdich X4 +3 Quadrupled Whiskey  is a quadrupled distilled whisky. And what does that mean? It means that this stuff is some potent stuff!

After the fourth distillation, it has a whooping ABV of 92%! Yea, you read that right, 92%, that’s 184 proof! That makes X4 the most alcoholic single malt in the world!

Potent? This stuff is like liquid dynamite! In fact, the guys from Top Gear used it to fuel a British race car! The engine cranked out 340 bhp and catapulted the car from 0 to 60mph in 3.5 seconds! In full disclosure the stuff they used to fuel the car was not Scotch whisky.  Technically, it is new spirit, that is, less than the minimum of three years of age. But still, having that much kick at the start only bodes well for it once it does have time to age in oak.

Perilous Whisky

Legend has it that a certain Martin Martin (already this legend sounds a bit suspicious) visited the Western Isle of the Hebrides in 1695. His hosts, in a mischievous mood, offered him a bit of local refreshment. A quaffer referred to as the “perilous whisky”. Now, with a name like that you think Martin Martin would have known better, but no, not Martin Martin. Apparently ole’ Martin was a little slow on the uptake when it came to naming things.

When he recovered, probably around 1795, this is what he had to say, “… the first taste affects all the members of the body: two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; and if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life.” Seems like the old boys on Western Isle of the Hebrides were a hardy breed in 1695.

So, how does today’s “perilous whisky” measure up? You did read the part about the British race car accelerating to 60mph in 3.5 seconds, right?

Believe me it measures up, or so I have read. You see, I have not had the pleasure of sampling this delicacy. In fact, I’m not sure if the 184 proof X4 is even available. However, a Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled  +3 , (the +3 meaning it’s been aged 3 years) is available. Thankfully it’s a “watered” down version of the perilous stuff with an ABV of 63.5%. Hence, it’s 127 proof!

Tasting Notes

Color:     Primrose Yellow/Lily

Nose:  Intoxicating. Sweet barley cereal sugar aromas are the first up, supported by floral overtones of primula, iris, mint, leiden and gorse joined later by muscat grapes with a twist of lycee. The oak then starts to emerge with hints of hazelnut splashed with bourbon

Palate:  A lightness in both the taste and the aromatics. The purity, the essence of the spirit, is evident from the first sip. Clean, fresh, alive, innocent, pure and untainted by time and opinions. You would never believe its youth in a month of Sundays.

Finish:  A beguiling silky texture which takes a lot of the heat from the mouth feel. Great length of flavour. A true first-born, debut spirit, a pioneer who has originality and required courage, creativity, imagination and non-conformity to produce.

(Tasting Notes from Bruichladdich distillery website)