The folks over at Bruichladdich broadly categorise their whisky experiments into three groups:
- Bruichladdich – Unpeated
- Bruichladdich Port Charlotte (PC) – Heavily Peated
- Bruichladdich Octomore – Super Heavily Peated
However it was sufficiently different to prompt interest in exploring their PC and Octomore expressions… thanks to the “Canadian stash” from my aunt and uncle, I had an opportunity to try representations from both!
So what’s up with the Bruichladdich Port-Charlotte? The name Port Charlotte comes from a village near Bruichladdich, which once boasted the Lochindaal Distillery, that ran for 100 years between 1829 and 1929. The approach is to peat to 40 PPM and play around with different barley.
In this case, I sampled the Scottish Barley…
And what did I find?
- Colour – Light straw
- Nose – Minty, sea salt, invites you to taste! A bit of citrus thrown in… as it opens becomes sweeter, with a faint curd
- Taste – Malty yumminess, leather, strong herbs, licorice, smokey, a bit of zing, chewy, dry, sweet.. the longer you sip, the more peaty rich earthiness emerges… with fruits added in for sweetness
- Finish – The gift that keeps on giving, the herbs come back, lots of peat
- Water – I’ll admit, I was disinclined to add… but glad I did! Brightened the nose, rounded out the flavours on the palate though dampened the finish initially… then sweeeeet! Quite nice with a dash of water
There is lots going on with this one – strong, very direct and impossible to ignore. The herbal quality makes it distinctive… certainly this more to my preference than the Organic. I certainly appreciate what the folks over at Bruichladdich are trying to achieve.
Here’s what the distillery says… warning it is quite a wordy read!
- Character – The texture is extraordinarily rich with a huge depth of character. The smouldering heat of peat fires pulls you into a whirlpool of islay flavours and aromas but with such finesse that you welcome the storm.
- Nose – Opening with assertive waves of peat smoke and Atlantic squall, the olfactory system is on high alert in anticipation of some major sensory excitement. A swell of aromatics flood the senses with notes of iodine, salty canvas, crushed sea shells, charred oak staves, black pepper, paprika and leather tobacco pouches. The second wave brings vanilla, figs and soft plump dates, marinated pear, freshly milled malt, dark sweet toffee and cracked walnuts. It’s smoky. It’s smouldering. It’s sensuous. Just close your eyes and inhale long and deep. This is aromatic awesomeness.
- Palate – Wow! Waves of the sweetest, smoothest, warmest smokiest spirit that you have ever experienced flood onto the palate like the atlantic surf on Saligo Bay. It is potent, focused and the flavours explode brilliantly onto the palate. Full of depth and complexity, the smokey sweetness of the barley contrasts beautifully with the marine freshness of the spirit and the richness of toffee and vanilla. The complexity is enhanced further with a citrus twist and then mellow oak tempers the fire. Once the taste buds adjust to what is happening, they rejoice in the company and pleasure of this young Celt.
- Finish – It’s long and heart-warming, arousing feelings of pride and passion. It brings courage and strength, honesty and faith to your very soul.
- Mood – It cries “freedom”. You are in a good place and you envy no man. You feel alive and ready for whatever lies ahead, knowing that the true spirit of Islay is with you.
Here’s what others say:
You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: