Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Bruichladdich PC5 (Port Charlotte)
Islay Single Malt Whisky
The folks at Bruichladdich distillery call the Port Charlotte (PC) Evolution series "the re-awakening of the long-lost soul of an extinct distillery." The original Port Charlotte (Lochindaal) distillery and closed in 1929 in the wake of American prohibition and company changes in Scotland. You still can, and I have, sleep in part of the remnants of the distillery as it is occupied by a Youth Hostel. Or you can park your car in part of an old warehouse.
Ruraidh Macleod is the last man alive to have tasted the original Port Charlotte. "It was very, very peaty; but it was as smooth as velvet." Bottled at 63.5%, this stuff was filled to cask at 71%, the result of what Jim McEwan had called 'trickle-distillation', ie. running the stills slowly.
This is also the first spirit to be produced by the current owners who took over the distillery in 2000 and began production in 2001. Released almost exactly a year ago, the original run was over-subscribed by 400% and began yet another series of highly collectible bottlings. But how is the stuff in the bottle? Thanks for the sample, Colin.
For more distillery information and to see other drops of Bruichladdich had on the mission click HERE.
* - the quoted price is dated and if you were to find a bottle of this stuff for sale today I am sure it would have a price tag above that initial one. Crazy whisky collectors, screwing everything up for us whisky drinkers.
Dairy first impressions (appropriate as the remnants of the distillery were used as the Islay Creamery until 1990s) Clotted cream, salted butter, and brie. Yogurt based curry, even. Creme de cassis, lemonade(Sprite, 7up) honeydew and peat smoke throughout. With water it becomes even more lemony (synthetic), the smoke gets more industrial, petrolic, a warm running engine.
Hot (it is 63.5%, after all). Big smoky impact, very much like Lahroaig, but the array of flavours is quite different. Still dairy with buttered toast, lots of pepper, and then very drying like (properly) brewed tea. With water it is more mineral, earthy, and biscuity. Grape skins and smoke in the dry finish. Peat smoke lingers.
Pretty impressive actually, if young. And not for those repelled by peat. This is the kind of juvenile spirit that can get folks pretty excited for the future. Let's hope that future is more affordable than £60 a go. (Check out Sku's impressions... and if you have a look around, be prepared to get hungry)
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