2022 Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 3 – Scotch Negroni. If you haven’t tried changing up the base sprit in a negroni, this is your cue to start. Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Unpeated Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a brilliant substitution for gin when balanced with a less bitter amaro than the usual Campari.
The foundation for The Classic Laddie is not a recipe set in stone, but a distilling philosophy. The distillery has no interest in precise uniformity, instead – year by year – the variety and provenance of its barley shapes the spirit, and an ever-increasing range of casks are sourced to evolve the variety of flavours in the warehouse. Each batch of The Classic Laddie will, by nature, be unique and subtly different.
Creating The Classic Laddie is one of the most complex and demanding responsibilities bestowed upon Head Distiller, Adam Hannett, who curates this assemblage of the distillery’s finest spirits by hand to achieve its signature fruity and floral Bruichladdich house style. Composing each unique recipe is a rigorous process. Adam must systematically sample and evaluate every spirit by nose, taste and mouthfeel.
It is painstaking and difficult work, requiring a clear head and many checks, pauses and re-evaluations over many weeks. The final formula is decided in the quiet of his sample room.
The Classic Laddie is bottled at 50% alcohol by volume as opposed to the average of 40-46%. The flavour of the spirit at 50% ABV is barley forward, meaning you taste more of the Scottish malt they’ve worked hard to trace. Bruichladdich will not stretch its spirit and compromise on quality for the sake of profit – a rarity in today’s spirits economy.
On the palate, The Classic Laddie is refined and refreshing, sweet oak and barley notes come together in perfect harmony. Ripe green fruits, brown sugar and sweet malt follow, showcasing the remarkable flavour of the Scottish barley used in this single malt.
To showcase the complexity of The Classic Laddie in this spirit-forward sipper, I’ve paired it with Amaro Averna which is bittersweet flavours of orange zest, cola, ginger and baking spices and top-notch sweet vermouth (I recommend Carpano Antica Formula if you can get your hands on it).
Other negroni recipes you might enjoy:
The finished product is balanced, rich, and smooth – pairs well with diamonds, like those I’m wearing in this photo series, generously loaned by HOWARD. Pieces I’m wearing include:
Join me on Instagram Stories tonight as I stir up this refined twist on a classic.
Explore the complexity of Bruichladdich: The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley in this spirit-forward sipper that changes up the classic negroni.