Oct 282016
 

Port Charlotte Valinch 12 y.o. Cask #R15/358-00102-bru-00-img_3784

58.4% abv

Score:  88/100

 

Those of you who’ve made the pilgrimage to Bruichladdich distillery are likely well aware that the gift shop/visitor center is home to an ever-changing cask of Laddie single malt, spigoted and ready for pouring.  The idea being that the ultimate souvenir of your distillery visit has to be a hand-filled bottle of Bruichladdich, straight from the barrel.  And in actual fact there are now two barrels on offer to those so inclined.

When we visited in late September of this year the choices were 12 year old Bruichladdich – unpeated Laddie, that is – matured in a first fill sherry cask and 12 year old Port Charlotte matured entirely in ex-bourbon wood.  The former was not to my tastes, being slightly over-wined in my opinion.  The latter, however, was a rather special malt.  And I had to have one.  Or three.  Well…one for me and two for the club.

The Bruichladdich team have given these casks the appellation ‘Valinch’, named for the tool typically used in pulling samples from the barrel.  Not 100% sure of the rationale behind the choice of name, as there is no valinch involved in the process, but…such is.

Novelty aside though, I think what most appealed here for me was affirmation that the Port Charlotte line is one that ages gracefully.  Peated heavyweights are often at their best in youth, but we’ve seen Port Charlotte to be a bit of a hydra, showing multi-facets.  This particular barrel was further validation of my affections.

I think we all know the deal with Port Charlotte by now, aye?  Bruichladdich call this their ‘moderately peated’ line, but c’mon…40 ppm is hardly moderate, is it?  Not only that, but if you’ve tasted the PC series you’ll know just how big and rich these drams are in terms of smoke and peat reek.

This particular spirit went into wood in 2003 and only met glass circa late 2016.  Twelve years in a good naked bourbon barrel shows me just what I’d hoped to see: Port Charlotte softening and calling forth flavours from the wood to harmonize with the phenols.  At a dozen seasons we’re seeing a pretty damn decent balance.  Love it.

Bottling your own can be either a nifty souvenir or pretty gnarly way to get your hands on an extremely singular malt, but caution for those heading over to Islay…this little experience will set you back quite a few of your hard-earned ATM-dispensed food stamps.  I think these Valinch bottles, at 500 ml, used to run about £50, but are now £75.  A bit pricey for a 12 year old malt (and again…only 500 ml!), but man…how do you say no when faced with the prospect of corking up your own hand-filled?

Nose:  Rubber and smoke.  A hint of cherry.  A lot of spice and a lot of fruit.  Seems somewhat devoid of that butyric (read: buttery) note I associate with Port Charlotte.  12 years is obviously a good age for this one.  Chocolate and peat.  Obviously quite some smoke.

Palate:  Ok…a little more buttery here.  The smoke is more restrained than expected.  …at first.  Fennel.  More smoke now, with rubber, smoked oyster, salt water and burnt lemon.  The fruit suggested by the nose is absolutely crushed by the enormity of peat and earthy tones.  Tastes like a heavily charred bourbon barrel.

Thoughts:  More Port Charlotte on the nose than the palate (if that makes sense).  Neat as hell single cask outing.  Sadly, available only at the distillery.

 

 – Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 6:37 pm
Mar 182016
 

Port Charlotte PC10IMG_1085

59.8% abv

Score:  90/100

 

Tro Na Linntean.  Through the generations.  I like it.  Not because it’s yet another clever riff on Gaelic naming conventions (those seemingly being used on every second expression from the Scottish isles lately), but because it is actually meaningful in this case.

Just weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to have Bruichladdich’s Allan Logan come through town and host an evening for the Dram Initiative whisky club.  Allan is the distillery’s Production Director, aka ‘the guy in charge’.  He made whisky waves years back by becoming Scotland’s youngest distillery manager at the ripe ol’ age of 28.  With Jim McEwan’s retirement last year, Allan stepped up to lead the Laddie team into the next era.  This PC10 was one of the malts we poured for the club that night, and it allowed for a great opportunity for Allan to share the story of the ‘passing of the torch’, so to speak.  Indeed, his visage is even emblazoned on the tin packaging.  This whisky has his DNA all over it (figuratively speaking).  Y’see now how it makes sense that a malt would be named ‘through the generations’ when it commemorates a changing of the guard?  Neato.

More important than capturing a moment in time, however, is capturing a great whisky in the bottle.  And holy hell, did they ever.  All the ferocious might of the cask strength PC line is on bombastic full display here, but ten years slumber in the barrel has imparted a seriously impressive cohesiveness and softening influence.  Now, now, peatheads, rest assured this is no gentle giant.  It is just as huge as its forebears, but now bears the hallmarks of maturity and those sublime clean vanilla-infused cask notes we relish.  I can only imagine what Port Charlotte will be like at 15 or 18 years of age.  Hopefully Team Turquoise are sitting on some maturing barrels that have been earmarked for just this purpose.

Score:  90.  But you do know I’m an unapologetic peat-o-phile, aye?

Nose:  Earthy, downhome farmy peat and smoke, of course, but those are no-brainers in a PC.  Those familiar with the line will likely pick up that cola syrup sweetness meets butyric butteriness meets fairly assertive citrus (more lime than lemon?).  Now toss in some soft fruity notes (something reminds of grilled, caramelized pineapple).  Lovely, in other words.  A faint welly rubber note.  Ash and char.  It’s briny and seaside-ish and all that, but I’m a little surprised at the softer, creamier edge here.  Granted this is older than other PCs I’ve tried.  A touch of caramel and eucalyptus too.

Palate:  Bam!  Smoke and damp ash.  Sea water.  Lemon on smoked oysters.  Salt and pepper.  Oak notes are somewhat drying.  Some nice heavily toasted (read: almost burnt) pastry flavours.  You can taste the smoky malted barley (all sweet rich cereal, organic, smoky notes).  Salt licorice and green apple.

Thoughts:  Gorgeous.  A loooooong, slooooow sipping malt.  Take your time with this one.  Turn on a little ‘Soul Station’ by Hank Mobley, lean back and close your eyes.  Just…like…that.

 

 – Images & Words:  Curt

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Nov 072014
 

Port Charlotte Scottish Barley162

50% abv

Score:  87/100

 

We’re on the eve, so to speak, of the release of the newest run of Laddies.  This time, pure Islay Barley Port Charlotte and Octomore.  I’ve yet to try the former, but the latter really is a knockout malt (and peated to an unprecedented 258ppm!  Though, I’m going on record as saying it’s not necessarily any peatier or smokier than earlier editions, despite the boost in phenols).  At some point we’ll get ’round to reviewing these, but in the meantime let’s continue with one of our perpetually-late-to-the-party write-ups of an older edition.  Last year’s Scottish Barley Port Charlotte.

It’s always a treat to engage a new expression of Port Charlotte.  As many of you are likely aware, Port Charlotte is not a distillery, but a brand name under the Bruichladdich banner, produced for a good part of the year at this once-again iconic distillery on the western shores of Islay’s Loch Indaal.  Port Charlotte is the distillery’s middle ground malt, sitting somewhere in between the mild and unpeated (or nearly unpeated, depending on the expression) Bruichladdich spirit and the eyewatering bog beast Octomore.  Make no mistake about it, though, this is a heavily peated whisky. 

For this particular release, Bruichladdich has upped the abv from the previous version’s 46%, and – I can only assume – dropped the average age of the whisky in the bottle, as this certainly seems a bit younger than the Port Charlotte 10 y.o.  While I love that they made the first change, I’m less impressed by the move to NAS.  This makes no sense to me, seeing as how they proudly proclaim Octomore’s five year old designation right on the bottle.  Personal gripes aside, this is a fine dram.  Well-constructed by Mr. McEwan and the gang, and is certainly money well spent.

Bruichladdich has gone on record several times now saying that nothing would change subsequent to the Remy Cointreau buyout, and that they would be left to their own devices.  I’m not convinced.  Yes, they are still knocking out rather frequent releases in their inimitable craft stylings, but these releases seem to be nothing more than minor variations on a theme.  Tweak the abv, adjust the age, declare the provenance, different finishes, etc.  Though the distillery’s modus operandi of blitzing the market with uncountable expressions was often maligned in the ‘presses’ (and I use that term very loosely) I miss the days of infinite cask fuckery and shelves groaning under the weight of countless quirky Bruichladdichs.  It was just a little more exciting, to be honest.  While I think the whisky coming out of Bruichladdich is consistently better overall now, I do mourn the loss of artistic unpredictability. 

And man, do I miss the widespread availability of the untouchable PC cask strength series.  That was Port Charlotte at its apex.

I guess what I’m saying is that this is not the Port Charlotte I fell in love with.  It’s more like a really decent knock-off.  Think Zeppelin with John Bonham vs Zeppelin with Jason Bonham.  One was an absolute megalith.  Towering, thundering and taking the world by storm.  The other was making nearly all of the same sounds, but without the lasting resonance or element of monumental surprise.  

Nose:  Lovely downhome farmyard aromas.  Licorice.  Smoking rubber.  Cola with a squeeze of citrus.  Smoke and peat, of course.  Key lime.  Creamy, buttery caramel.  Port Charlotte is simply unmistakeable.  This is no shocker of a nose.

Palate:  Great, bold delivery (as we’ve come to expect from this range).  Licorice, cola and rubber again.  Wet, smoking piles of hay.  Salty pie dough.  Lemon meringue pie.  Buttery notes and oily mouthfeel.  Long finish.

Thoughts:  This is an end-of-the-night kinda dram.  An absolute sandblasting of the taste buds.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 8:58 am
May 232014
 

SMWS 127.26 “Student Party Aftermath”004

65.5% abv

Score:  91.5/100

 

Aka ‘Student Party Aftermath’.

Ok.  By now you know it as well as I do: I am an unrepentant peathead.  It should come as no surprise that a frighteningly huge young whisky from Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte line would score high in my books.

This bottle isn’t really a Port Charlotte or Bruichladdich release though, of course.  It is an SMWS ‘numbered-not-named’ bottling.  The SMWS, as you likely know, is an independent bottler/members-only whisky club.  They source casks, sex ’em up a bit, add a dash of flamboyant wit and turn out some of the most aesthetically pleasing (to my eyes, at least) bottles on the shelves.  For this, their 26th cask of Port Charlotte, they really managed to score a winner.

Port Charlotte has never really been a brand for the faint of heart, and this lumbering beast is arguably the most extreme representation I’ve seen yet, tipping the scales at a monolithic 65.5% abv.  This is an absolutely enormous whisky.  One of the biggest I’ve ever encountered, in fact.  It sorta leaves me wondering how the hell this abv is even possible.  I’m pretty sure Bruichladdich casks their new make at 63.5% (like most distilleries), and Scotland doesn’t exactly boast the sort of climate that leads to a higher water than alcohol evaporation rate from the barrel like some of the more temperate locales.  Hmmmm….curiouser and curiouser.

Independent Port Charlotte releases are relatively few and far between.  This is primarily due to two factors, I think.  One…that it’s still early days for this whisky (just about a year ago we finally saw a ten year old variant), and two…the ongoing whisky boom makes the idea of selling off barrels to independents much less appetizing to distilleries who could likely do better bottling and peddling their own juice.  This makes it a bit of a treat to find an expression like this 127.26.  Independent bottlings often help show us a sort of ‘celebrity-without-the-makeup’ view of the malts we love.  It allows a different appreciation.

Enough natter.  Suffice it to say, this is good whisky.  More than good, actually.

Nose:  To quote the great Billy Connolly: “Jesus suffering f*ck!”  Smoky, peaty and earthy.  Licorice and lapsang souchong tea.  Rubber and road tar.  Quite intrinsically sweet too.  There is some wax and citrus fruit.  Some hard candy sweetness as well.  Slightly farmy and some of that Port Charlotte buttery character.  Camphor-like medical notes and a deep thread of thick, dark vanilla.  Bundle it all together though, and what it really smells like is the most ferocious Mike Tyson uppercut distilled and bottled.

Palate:  Oh wow, what an attack.  Phenols from hell.  Feels bigger, smokier, peatier than any Octomore I’ve ever sparred with.  Under-ripe Granny Smith apples.  Lime Jolly Ranchers.  Ashtrays (I imagine, though I’ve never licked one).  Oaky, toothpick notes.  Slightly meaty…like a peppered salami maybe.  Salty and licorice-like again.  Sen-sen would be the closest parallel.  The finish lasts longer than a Viagra-induced….errrr…you know what I mean.

Thoughts:  I had an absolute blast doing this one.  Wish I had 6 or 8 bottles of this sitting on a shelf somewhere for future days.  Sadly, not so.  Not necessarily a balanced whisky, but who the f*ck cares?!  It is quite deep, though, with a myriad of swirling flavours though.  One of the best PCs I’ve ever tried.  (Feel free to slightly correct the score above to accommodate my personal bias, but believe me when I say I stand behind the mark.  It really is a strong outing for Team McEwan et al.)

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 8:48 am
Jan 022014
 

Port Charlotte 10211

46% abv

Score:  88/100

 

As with all of the whiskies in Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte range, this is a single malt that boasts a warm welcome familiarity and, quite simply, a wonderfully unique profile.

Uniqueness in whisky is rather scarce, so it’s no small thing to be recognized as standing out from the pack and having an instantly recognizable niche.  Do I inflate Port Charlotte scores because of this?  Possibly, but I don’t really think so.  Unequivocally I stand behind the inherent quality of the malt.  It’s an old school peat-and-smoke-heavy whisky of charm and character.  The Bruichladdich spirit simply works very well with high test peat, as proven by both the Octomore range and the Port Charlottes, so it’s rather easy to get behind it.

This release is Port Charlotte come of age.  We’ve watched the whisky mature gracefully through some exceptional annual cask strength releases named in simple fashion for the initials of the distillate and the age of the whisky (i.e. PC5, PC6, PC7, etc).  This was a release pattern much in line with Ardbeg’s ‘Path To Peaty Maturity’ series from several years back.  When Ardbeg finally reached 10 years, they celebrated with a final ‘Path’ expression called ‘Renaissance’, then strolled confidently onwards with a core range ten year old, aptly titled ‘Ten’, at 46% abv.  Bruichladdich has followed that model to a ‘T’.  On the heels of last year’s PC10, we were rewarded with ‘Port Charlotte 10’, an addition to the core ‘Laddie range and offered up at a respectable 46% abv.  And not chill-filtered.  And free of added coloring.  Brilliant. 

Even better though, is that Bruichladdich has managed to retain the integrity of the whisky even after bringing it down to a more manageable bottling strength.  We’ve seen many times before where the true ‘oomph’ of a dram is lost when the whisky is brought down from a flavour-rich cask strength to a market savvy 40% (give or take).  In the case of the PC series, those initial bottling strengths were massive, hovering in and around 60% abv.  That’s a far cry from this 46%, so to see the whisky retain all of its hallmark beauty is something to be extremely grateful for.  Well done, Team ‘Laddie. 

As of now, January 2014, Port Charlotte is still being produced at the Bruichladdich distillery.  Perhaps this will finally be the year where we really see new owners, Remy Cointreau’s, financial backing at play in helping to get the long-proposed Port Charlotte distillery up and running.  Fingers crossed.

Nose:  Buttery, farmy and peaty in that sort of way with which we’re now quite familiar in Port Charlotte releases.  Some smoke and rubber.  Creamy natural caramels…thick and awesomely gooey.  Salty.  Notes of Werther’s Originals.  Asphalt.  Maybe a distant touch of anise.  Great nose for sitting on a cool, cloudy beach and watching the ocean roll in.  Ideally…beside the pier in Port Charlotte itself.

Palate:  Sweet smoky rubber.  Elastic band and bandaid.  Peaty, earthy and iodine-rich.  A little sharp.  Moving into Longrow territory.  Very nice.

Thoughts:  Port Charlotte coming of age is a beautiful thing to watch.  Enjoying the hell out of this whisky’s growth and development.  A neutered Port Charlotte, to be sure, (we prefer the cask strength PC series), but still a great dram bearing all the nuances of the style.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 2:45 pm
Oct 102013
 

Port Charlotte The Peat Project176

46% abv

Score:  82.5/100

 

Make up your minds, folks.  Make up your minds. 

I am, incidentally, speaking to the good people at Bruichladdich (whom we really do love here at ATW), who can’t seem to make up their minds just as to the facade their moderately peated line-up should finally settle upon. 

Years back, it started out as Bruichladdich 3D…later morphing into Bruichladdich Peat…further evolving into An Turas Mor..and now, finally, we have The Peat Project coming in under the Port Charlotte moniker.  To be clear: this is NOT the same spirit packaged under different pretenses.  Each of these is a personality in its own right.  Some better than others…none bad…some very good indeed. 

The Peat Project falls sort of middle of the pack in terms of my own personal level of appreciation.  Well made, and beautifully presented (inherently and aesthetically), but a little toothless in relation to some of its contemporary siblings and obsolete ancestors.  This sounds like a rather negative spin, I imagine, but it’s really not meant to be.  It’s more a ‘damned by reputation’ kinda scenario.  I’m almost measuring this one against potential and past successes.  Knowing what the output has been and could be, I can’t help but continue to hold the brand up against high markers.

Either way, do rest assured that this is a safe purchase.  You’re not being fleeced for your pay when laying down for this 40ppm bog juice from arguably Scotland’s most respectable distillery.  The price is more than fair.  The malt…more than fair.

Nose:  Sharp and salty.  Smoking rubber.  Peaty, but not overly so.  Lemon Pledge.  A bit of sea water.  Almost a chlorine note.  Touch buttery (as is most ‘Laddie).  A sweet candy note.  Barley is young and alive.  Too young, actually.  Best way to describe this one: spirity.

Palate:  Man…I would guess this a Kilchoman if tasted blind.  This is a YOUNG whisky.  Smoke (ahhh…but of course).  Quite some tar.  Barley cereal notes.  Neat mix of lime and ginger.

This is far too light for a PC.  Still more than decent, but not up to snuff against the rest of the Port Charlotte releases (including the rather restrained Port Charlotte 10 at 46%)

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 12:47 pm
Feb 242013
 

Port Charlotte PC8

60.5% abv

Score:  89.5/100

 

Ar Duthchas.  Land Of Our Heritage.  The 4th release in Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte ‘PC’ series.  Not the best of the bunch, but certainly a more than worthwhile addition to the range.

With this expression we’re back to the mix of bourbon and madeira casking we saw with PC6.  The result is similar, but there seems to be a little less of the playful nip of the earlier release, and a little more confident movement to the place where the fruits begin to fight back against the peat.

Nose:  What else? Peat and smoke.  Amplified clean cucumber and hints of dill.  Toffee.  Cola.  Citrus zest.  Hint of chocolate.  Vanilla ice cream.  Green and weedy.  Iodine and seaweed.  Wet rock.  Licorice.

Palate:  Fruitier delivery here than in early incarnations.  Slightly (and I mean ‘slightly’) easier smoke.  Sweeter and more caramel.  Lemon drops.  Oily and tarry.  The finish is smoky and woody and moves on into green apple skins.

Most balanced of the PCs up to this point, but I miss the jagged tors of the earlier releases.  A little more complex to be sure, but I personally lean to the more youthful bite.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 9:25 pm
Feb 242013
 

Port Charlotte PC7

61% abv

Score:  90.5/100

 

Port Charlotte PC7.  Subtitled ‘Sin An Doigh Ileach’, Gaelic for “It’s the Islay way”.

The tins used to house the bottles on this release, much like those of PC6, pay tribute to some of the Ileach who helped take Bruichladdich through its early years.  Good, good stuff.  We like the downhome pride this distillery exudes in spades.

Being primarily bourbon and sherry cask matured makes this one a bit more seemingly aggressive than a couple of the others in the range which saw some Madeira influence.  The more ‘organic’ nature of this one works for me on some primeval level.  The very elemental nature of these peat monsters resonates.  This is a bottle of firewater though, make no mistake.  Expect it to take no prisoners.

Nose:  Sharp smoldering peat and smoke and ash.  Pungent woodiness.  Enormous caramel sweetness.  Freshly picked garden herbs.  Cola and citrus.  A bit of pepper.  Some coastal notes.

Palate:  Fires of hell.  Dense smoke.  Touch of dill.  Mouthcoating.  Everlasting, but what would you expect? At this ABV and this heavily peated, these flavors ain’t going anywhere.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 9:22 pm
Aug 122012
 

Port Charlotte An Turas Mor

46% abv

Score:  86.5/100

 

This is actually a tough one for me.  I adore Port Charlotte in all its tongue scalding peat-infused cask strength glory.  The first time PC6 melted my face I thought I had died and gone to heaven (or hell…pretty sure that toasty little locale will be more to my liking anyway).  PC5, PC7 and PC8 were all delectible little fireballs in their own right.

So why then, with a new Port Charlotte in my glass, am I suggesting this is a tough one?  Quite simply because it has been gelded.

I want to be explicitly clear here.  This is still a damn fine drink.  It has all the characteristics that make Port Charlotte infinitely enjoyable.  It is peaty and smoky…buttery, citric and salty…carries a bit of youthful fruit and a load of licorice.  And too…it practically screams Islay.  The problem is…I have a punching bag of a palate.  I love bold strokes of flavor and rich depths in what I consume; be it food, coffee, beer, wine or whisky.  I taste this PC and can’t help but compare it to the big guns in the range.

Having said all of that…for those that take a little more civility in the glass, while still embracing the stormy ferocity of Islay malts…this one is a gooder.

Farmy notes of cowsheds.  Iodine.  Peat and smoke.  Faintly buttery and vaguely medicinal.  A ghostly trace of mixed berry.  Lemon.  Licorice.  Barley.  Swirl gently and…voila!

If you can find (and afford) the cask strength vintages in the PC family, I would nudge you in that direction.  If not…you’re still in for a treat with this one.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 7:49 pm
Mar 112012
 

Port Charlotte PC5

63.5 % abv

Score: 92/100

 

Here it is.  This is where the legacy begins.  Though the Port Charlotte distillery is still (at the time of writing) a far off dream, Bruichladdich has been distilling an enormous, heavily-peated dram under the name of Port Charlotte for a few years now.  The first release, at five years old, is quite logically called PC5.  In this, its youngest incarnation, it shows a little more of the naked new-make spirit than in its successors.  This is quite enlightening for the Port Charlotte enthusiast, as even by the following 6 year old release (yep…PC6), it has moved a decent way along the path to maturity.

I won’t delve too deeply into the history of the Port Charlotte distillery here, so hopefully a few quick details will suffice.   It was originally in operation under the name Lochindaal Distillery, so titled for the loch on whose rocky shores is nestled the wonderful homey little village of Port Charlotte.  Sadly, in 1929, during the zealous age of prohibition, the distillery was closed.  Now…more than 80 years on, plans are on the backburner for the fine folk at Bruichladdich to pull a Willy Wonka and re-open this magic factory.

The logical first question would be, “well…will this be the same whisky as that produced on this site generations ago?”  The answer is a resounding…”we don’t really know”.  The last known bottle of malt from the Lochindaal Distillery became memory almost 50 years ago.

Regardless…where that questions remains unanswered, the follow-up, “is this new Port Charlotte any good?” is an easy one to address.

The answer is yes.  Quite simply, this is bloody brilliant whisky.  Unlike any other and certainly not soon to be forgotten.  Reviews of PC5 through PC8 will all be posted in the coming days, so do have a read to follow this whisky through maturation, but in the meantime let’s get back to the bottle at hand.

Make no mistake, this is a young whisky.  It is sharp and jagged, rough and tough.  It bears a little more fruit and seems slightly less buttery than its elder siblings, but certainly still carries the Bruichladdich signature.

The nose is explosive and overstuffed to near-bursting.  Don’t get too close here…you’ll burn out your senses with too deep a first sniff.  Its heavy handed billows of peat and smoke are met with the aggression of black licorice and a green thistle bite.  As I said, you’ll likely still be able to pick up traces of the new-make character (if you’ve ever sampled new-make) and a vibrant fruitiness, both of which mellow in subsequent releases.  Light dollops of chocolate and a bit of apple round this out in a smoother manor.

The palate is prickly as hell.  Baby steps…small sips encouraged.  Here you’ll get (or I did anyway) some tarry notes, sharp greens and a bit of buttery caramel.  Wow, is this big!  The lingering notes that finish this one are typical of the big bold peated Islay malts…tart green apple skins.  Smoked apple skins, that is.

Surprisingly I find this one has some similarity to cask strength Caol Ila, moreso than its Bruichladdich brethren.  Odd.  Finally, in terms of balance, this isn’t quite as stable as PC6, PC7 or PC8, but please do NOT take that as a criticism.  Balance is not the be all, end all.  This one is probably second only to the PC6 in my books.

Can hardly wait to try this at older vintages.  If you can still find it…BUY IT.

Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

 Posted by at 3:19 pm