In the world of exclusive whiskies crafted to honour royal celebrations, few expressions encapsulate history and craftsmanship as vividly as the Bruichladdich 1965 Ceramic Jug. This exceptional bottling, released in 1981 to commemorate the wedding of HRH Charles and Diana Frances Spencer, stands as a testament to the enduring tradition of creating fine spirits for regal occasions. As we explore the rich tapestry of royal-inspired whiskies and the cultural phenomena surrounding them, this review delves into the exquisite details that make the Bruichladdich 1965 a prized addition to the collector’s repertoire. From its bespoke packaging to the finely distilled spirit within, join us on a journey through the intersection of whisky, monarchy, and celebration.
Royal Events and Memorabilia
In the realm of British traditions and celebrations, royal weddings and jubilees hold a special place, bringing the British nation together in joyous festivities. One unique way in which these occasions are commemorated is through the release of special bottlings of whisky. Distilleries across the United Kingdom often create limited-edition whiskies to mark these significant events, crafting blends that reflect the regal atmosphere and historical importance of the moment. These bottlings serve as tangible reminders of the union and celebration, capturing the essence of the royal occasion in distilled spirit.
The release of special whiskies to honour royal weddings or the Queen’s jubilee has become a cherished tradition among both whisky enthusiasts and collectors. These exclusive bottlings often feature bespoke packaging adorned with symbols of the monarchy, such as crowns, coats of arms, or portraits of the royal couple. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in both the whisky and its presentation elevate these releases to a level of prestige befitting the grandeur of the occasion. Or new levels of kitsch. As a result, they become sought-after treasures for those who wish to own a piece of history in liquid form.
The British people’s love for royal weddings extends beyond the mere enjoyment of whisky; it encompasses a broader culture of commemorating these events through various forms of memorabilia. From collectible plates and coins to tea towels and mugs, the nation revels in expressing their adoration for the royal family. The special whiskies released during these times become prized additions to this extensive collection of royal memorabilia. They offer a sophisticated and refined way for enthusiasts to connect with the celebratory spirit and create lasting memories through the enjoyment of a carefully crafted dram.
The significance of royal events is not lost on the whisky industry, which seizes the opportunity to showcase its craftsmanship and pay homage to tradition. Master distillers carefully select and blend whiskies to create expressions that capture the essence of the occasion. Whether it’s the smoothness of a royal union or the complexity of a jubilant milestone, these whiskies are crafted to be more than just beverages; they are expressions of celebration.
The release of special bottlings of whisky to celebrate royal weddings and jubilees is a testament to the enduring connection between tradition, craftsmanship, and celebration in British culture. These limited-edition releases serve as exquisite tokens of historic moments, inviting enthusiasts to partake in the festivities through a shared appreciation for fine whisky and the enduring allure of the monarchy. As the British people continue to revel in the joy of royal occasions, the tradition of creating and enjoying these commemorative whiskies remains a cherished part of the cultural tapestry that binds the nation together.
A brief glance at Whiskybase reveals a plethora of whiskies specifically bottled to commemorate royal weddings and the queen’s jubilees. This abundance serves as compelling evidence that the enduring passion for such events has not waned over the decades. It also underscores the keen awareness among distilleries and blenders of the ongoing demand to create expressions that pay homage to these significant occasions. This sustained commitment reflects the industry’s recognition that aficionados – or just royal events memorabilia collectors – continue to seek and appreciate whiskies crafted to capture the spirit of royal celebrations.
Bruichladdich 1965 15-Year-Old Ceramic Jug Review
Distilled in 1965, this 15-year-old Bruichladdich was bottled in 1981 to pay homage to the union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The medallion portraits of the two young newlyweds are featured on the ceramic bottle, imported to Italy by Moon Import. This exclusive bottling had an outturn of 900 bottles, all numbered, and bottled at 52% ABV. I bought a sample as part of a discontinued pack of samples from La Maison Du Whisky, featuring five gems from the Golden Promise, their famous whisky bar in Paris.
Neat: Exotic and noble woods, polished surfaces, black cherries, rancio, a hint of glue, soy sauce, and copper coins (OBE?) Furniture polish notes persist, followed by a progression of dark fruits, bitter orange, and a transition to tropical fruits with passion fruits and pineapple. Subsequently, guava and pomegranate emerge, accompanied by faint, light peaty notes, despite Bruichladdich ceasing peat use in 1960. The complexity invites prolonged nosing.
With water: Reduction introduces mineral notes such as pebbles and sandstone, accompanied by a touch of metallic tones. The profile deepens with dusty books and old linen nuances.
Neat: Rich sherry notes dominate, highlighting dark fruits, rancio, dark caramel, a touch of ginger, followed by peppered dried figs, dates, bitter orange, and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel evolves into a creamy texture, thoroughly coating the palate with a seamless integration of orange peel and sherry wood. The whisky maintains a well-balanced punch, attesting to its perfect ABV. Subtle bitter herbs and occasional hints of tropical fruits contribute to the complexity.
With water: Remarkably, the addition of water elevates the whisky’s profile to a majestic level. The experience becomes immersive, transporting the taster back in time. The nuances intensify with additional pepper, heightened rancio, and aged sherry characteristics, creating a truly stunning evolution.
Of medium length, the finish reveals lingering bitter notes alongside the enduring presence of dark chocolate and fruity nuances that persist for a while.
Simply incredible. This whisky has left me utterly amazed. Its stunning profile, even after all these years, demonstrates an exceptional vitality. Remarkably, with only 15 years of aging, it has unfolded a remarkable depth of complexity and exquisite flavours. This Bruichladdich 1965 Ceramic Jug has become one of the most outstanding whiskies I’ve tasted this year, if not the very best. I’m certainly keeping an eye out for this bottle at auctions – it’s an experience I want to live again.