View Full Version : Bizarre colour of firm's latest malt?

09-13-2004, 10:56

Bizarre colour of firm's latest malt

By Natalie Walker

WHISKY bosses reckon their new malt will be a hit - even though it's bright pink.

Bruichladdich of Islay's dram came about by mistake.

The company had decided to see what would happen to their latest 20-year-old malt if they aged it in red wine casks.

Director Simon Coughlin said: 'We expected it to get some colour but were amazed when it came out bright pink.

'Now not only does the whisky taste great, it has an amazing colour which we are sure will appeal to everyone.'

The firm have called the whisky Flirtation to try to attract more women and gay men.

Coughlin said: 'It may appeal to women more than the regular brown as some do prefer coloured drinks. The gay market too, maybe they'll be keen.'

Bruichladdich expect to sell all 10,000 bottles - despite the 65 price tag.

Coughlin said: 'Our last 20-year-old whisky was incredibly popular, in fact it has now sold out.

'We are sure that this new pink variety will be just as successful.'

He admitted the new dram may not be to everyone's taste but said his firm thought they might breathe some new life into the industry.

He said: 'We want to move with the times. The boring whisky days will become a thing of the past if we have anything to do with it.'

09-13-2004, 12:38
I wonder if all of that color actually comes from the red wine casks. A great variety of Scotch is aged in sherry and port casks. Those are red liquids, and the whisky doesn't turn out pink. I'm suspicious.

It's widely known that many Scotch distilleries add caramel to darken the appearance, despite outrage from purists and vocal opposition from pundits like Jim Murray. What's stopping them from adding a little Red #40 to target a new demographic?

Thumbs down!

09-13-2004, 13:00
Well, maybe, but strange colours have resulted before, e.g. pitch back (the famous Black Bowmore). There is a bottle of whiskey at the Getz museum whose contents are green (sappy barrel?). I don't think they would do this on purpose with a malt aged that long, the usual market for same isn't what they are targeting here. I guess normally they would use a malt with an off-spec colour in a blend or vatted whiskey but maybe they felt the colour would never get right with such a lurid pink, hence this special release. Hey why not? The whisky business (especially in Scotland, but everywhere to a degree) can be ponderous and weighty, this cuts some slack to a different market.


09-13-2004, 15:25
It's widely known that many Scotch distilleries add caramel to darken the appearance, despite outrage from purists

But Bruichladdich is now owned by the "purist" advocates, Murray-McDavid and Jim McEwan. They preach un-chillfilterd and no caramel, only natural colour. I doubt if they would tarnish their image.

09-13-2004, 17:16
Personally, I wouldn't go near it, though I like Bruichladdich 15 and 20 (which are (were, respectively) very over-priced. Legally, only caramel (E150a, if I remember right) can be used for color adjustment of single malt scotch, and it is not red or pink or reddish. Murray McDavid, proud owners of Bruichladdich, would definitely NOT color their whisky. But I still wouldn't go near it because I think all these wine finishes are just a marketing fad that has just about run its course. Most of the wood/wine finishes were amusing for a short time, at best, and some were truly dreadful: e.g., Glenmorangie 15, Sauternes finish was really expensive (almost $250 per bottle) and just pathetic tasting: muddled and spineless, a battle between the malt and the wine, ending with no finish at all. Even the nose was bad. (Luckily, I didn't pay for the bottle). Just my 2 cents as I finish my dram of Murray McDavid "Leapfrog" (12 YO, distilled March, 1987, bottled April, 1999, 46% ABV (92 proof), no color adjustment, no chill filtration). Next I will have a good pour of Black Maple Hill bourbon (11 YO, 95 proof, Cask No. 300 (N.B. it really says "cask", not "barrel"). I love the serious contrast between excellent straight bourbon and excellent single malt scotch! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

09-13-2004, 20:36
Ed, those MM 's are worth searching for, as I have about 25 bottlings including six of the " Mission " boxes. The Leapfrog ( for a time they couldn't use the Laphroaig reference ) is a classic. By the way has anybody seen the Mission III in the USA?

09-14-2004, 07:20
I'm glad to hear that the owners of Bruichladdich are adverse to coloring. The only Scotch I've had where I could pick up a real taste of the wine (or Port, in this case) is the 21-year Balvenie PortWood, which I quite enjoy. Might be worth trying this new bottling.