Thursday, 9 February 2017

Port Charlotte Islay Barley Heavily Peated

Distillery : Bruichladdich
Whisky : Port Charlotte Islay Barley Heavily Peated

Presentation : Metal Tin, embossed with Islay Barley loads of info about the whisky's terroir (more later) and distillery information, clear bottle with cork stopper
Source : Booths supermarket
Price : £48
Liquid Gold

Characteristics : 700ml, 50% ABV, Colouring Free, Un-Chill Filtered
Box/Bottle Information : "Peated to 40ppm and bottled using Islay spring water from the Octomore field of farmer James Brown. Although elegant and floral, these are heavily peated whiskies, evocative of the characteristic style of the old 19th century distillery that finally fell silent in 1928."

Colour : Pale Gold (Showing it's youth).
Glance : Oily, leaves thick trails when swirled around the glass.
Nose : SMOKE - it really hits you when you uncork the bottle never mind put your nose anywhere near it! Once that has settled down there is a lovely aroma of freshly smoked kippers - reminds me of trips to Whitby! The additional of a little water enhanced the smoked kipper smell.
Taste : Sweet and mouth filling, dried fruits and oats. The addition of a little water brings out the peat and a biscuit taste, also making the whisky very smooth.
Finish : Long and drying, initially with a slight alcohol burn (it is 50%), but this goes after a few more sips. Roast nuts and oak linger.

Overall : I'll admit I'm a bit (a lot really) of a Islay peat fan-boy, I love Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg and this Port Charlotte is in the same class but slightly different - it has the peaty smoke and the mouth coating characteristics of the others but not the medicinal overtures. It's signed by Jim McEwan, who's now retired, and come out of retirement to join the new Ardnahoe Distillery team! I love it, it's my current go-to dram for a cold Winter's night (and Spring at the moment)!

Link : Port Charlotte Islay Barley Heavily Peated

Bruichladdich are strong advocates for #transparency in whisky, I've talked about this in one of my previous blogs, and I'm really impressed about the amount of information they give you on the tin and bottle:

  • "We believe that Islay whisky should have an authenticity derived from where it is distilled and where it is matured. From the philosophies of those who distil it; a sense of place, of terroir, that speaks of the land, the barley and water from which it was made, and of the human soul that gave it life."
  • "Bruichladdich has made commitments to Islay farmers who now grow for us enabling us to distil single malt from 100% Islay barley for the first time in the island's history. Multiple farms, multiple terroirs. Our aim is to create a product of flawless integrity and the most thought provoking whisky possible."
  • "2008 Islay Barley, 6 farms, 6 terroirs : Coull, Kynagarry, Island, Rockside, Starchmill, Sunderland"
  • "Distilled, matured and bottled un-chill filtered and colouring free."
  • "Peated to 40ppm, and bottled using Islay spring water from the Octomore field of farmer James Brown."
  • "We believe Terroir matters - we believe in Islay, we belief in people. We believe in authenticity, provenance and trace ability. We believe in slow, we believe in challenging convention. We believe in the soul of the artisan."

Much better than "Perfectly balanced, naturally rich and smooth" than you get on some bottles.

But then Bruichladdich go one step further : with some of their whiskies you can enter a code from the bottle on their website and they'll tell you all about it - stuff their not allowed to but on the bottle because of EU regulations. Even better you can get in touch with them and they'll tell you - they are really a friendly lot!
For instance they told me that this whisky was made with Optic and Oxbridge barley harvested in September 2008 from the 6 farms mentioned on the box;  that it was distilled in December 2008 and that my wonderful dram was matured in American & European oak casks.

Why wouldn't we want to see all this information on the box or bottle?

No comments:

Post a Comment