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