Next in our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evening was another bolder peatier Port Charlotte offering with the PC 12 Oileanach Furachail…. peated to 40 PPM and bottled 21 July 2015.
It was sampled in three sessions – initially with the Whisky Ladies then a mini session with two ladies who missed the main evening, followed by our original Mumbai tasting group who had all whiskies completely blind before the reveal.
What did the Whisky Ladies think?
- Much more complex than the CC:01, bursting with character, musty, old leather shoes, yet beyond the tobacco factory was lily
- Sour, leather, betel nut leaf, old leather polish, black sour cherry, a mechanics garage, quite industrial, then becomes sweet with vanilla, then black peppercorn
- Super amazingly smooth, well rounded, much more subtle on the palate than one would have anticipated from the nose, absolutely delicious – think spicy smoked chickpeas, dark berries, clove encrusted oranges
- Musty, sweet, round without a single harsh edge – a contrast from the industrial nose, black pepper, clearly ‘peat’ yet a ‘collaborative peat’ that marries well with the other elements
- The aftertaste has subtle bitter chocolate with absolutely no burn
- Long drawn out finish – like having a chunk of spicy red chilli, invites you to introspect
- Bringing out a vegetal quality – think celery root. Not unpleasant but a tinge harsh initially before opening up. Some thought under no circumstances should water be added. Others thought it brought out more…
- Became initially quite floral on the nose, with fruit, tobacco, a dried potpourri, almost too much spice on the palate til it settles down…
Absolutely beautiful to drink. The palate is truly superb. It is not your standard whisky on the nose – one called it “Stinky feet on the nose but when sipping… I absolutely love it!”
The ladies thought it to be an after dinner whisky, a sociable dram to enjoy with old friends. Without a doubt – this was clearly a “hit!” for many ladies.
Our original underground Mumbai whisky club found the following:
- Nose – Burnt rubber, sweaty socks, lemon citrus, rotting fruit, car manufacturing unit, fresh leather, burnt dry wood, then apricot… after airing for much longer it was remarkable how the peat settled down and the fruitiness became much more apparent with a chaser of nuts
- Palate – Starts sweet, then flat, clearly high on spirit, some speculated if there might be a hint of sherry as it had chewy dark berries and slight prune
- Finish – Bitter cinnamon spice, dum biryani
- Water – For some, they found it helped bring out a more sophisticated side to this whisky – revealing more complex elements. For others they found it made it more ‘singular’ in an interesting way but with less complexity. One shared that with water it goes from “lust to love”
For the original group, this one was much more industrial. While quite interesting, we had become ‘tuned’ to the sophisticated nuance of the CC:01 that curled around the Port Charlotte character. By contrast the Oileanach Furachail swaggered about with much more ‘in your face’ qualities. With the reveal, we were surprised at how little peat there is compared to its bold peaty character!
What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?
Adam Hannett has been working alongside Jim McEwan since 2006, watching and learning from the legendary distiller. Adam has a special talent, a perceptive nose and a rare ability to analyse and objectify sensory experience. One day the ultimate responsibility for this precious spirit will rest on his shoulders. Here we acknowledge Adam and his ongoing journey with Jim. “Oileanach furachail”.
- Character – A heavyweight Islay – rich, smokey and smooth.
- Colour – Polished walnut in an autumn sunset.
- Nose – Opens with bursts of smoke, salt and dark fruit then develops raisins, toffee, sweet oak and ripe plum. Hints of cinnamon spice, polish, candied orange and lemon peels. hazelnut and dates.
- Palate – Rich and succulent in texture bringing harmony to a spirit of 58.7%. Sherry flavours of date and fig combine with peat smoke to balance honey, lemon and hot toasted oak. Apricot pear and green apple are subtle but the character of our pure spirit cannot be hidden. There have been no shortcuts to get here. Long years in our warehouses on the shores of Loch Indaal have brought out the exceptional qualities of casks sourced from far and wide. Combine this with the influence of fresh salty Islay air and you have a dram of unmistakable character.
- Finish -You may think it will never end as the smoke lingers releasing touches of liquorice, date and sweet malt. Close your eyes and you are on Islay. As this dram fades you can reflect on another step of your journey and look forward with confidence as there are many more to come.
- Mood – To be enjoyed when there is time to relax. Throw a few more peats on the fire and settle back in contemplation.
Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evenings also featured:
- No Peat – The Classic Laddie 50% vs The Laddie Eight 50%
- No Peat – Bere Barley 2008 50%
- Heavy Peat – Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 8 years 57.8%
- Insanely Heavy Peat – Octomore 07.2 5 years 208 PPM 58.5%
- Insanely Heavy Peat – Octomore 07.1 5 years 208 PPM 59.5%
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