Review 2017-009 «Specifics» Single malt • Bottled in 2016 • Triple distilled from 100% Scottish barley • 50% Alcohol • Matured for 10 years in first-fill bourbon, sherry, tempranillo and French wine casks • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Bruichladdich (owned by Rémy Cointreau) • Rhinns of Islay • Scotland • Limited availability (18,000 bottles) • Still available (price ±€70) • Whiskybase #86883
STORY. The second edition to the Port Charlotte 10 years and we are cheering for the age statement that is present on the flask (whohooo) This presents a blend from four different cask types, including bourbon, sherry and two types of wine casks. We can only hope that it will leave room for the characteristic features of the distillery and we are not ending up in a cocktail contest. Part of the recent released trilogy that also includes the Laddie Ten and Octomore 10. The wine casks previously contained either wine made from tempranillo grapes, which are quite popular in Spain give a fairly neutral fruity wine low in sugar and acidity, and a not specified French wine. As usual the phenol levels are set to 40 ppm, which are comparable to for instance Lagavulin and Laphroaig. According to their brochure, the second edition is completely different from the first edition released in 2012, which was matured in American oak casks.
APPEARANCE. Transparent and honest design, colour of the contents is light yellow and there is no huge cask-colouring present.
NOSE. At first, there is smoke combined with a wine-like fruitiness, pine apple juice and bags of smoked pineapples. Add to that some smoked mango. Later on more vegetal notes enter, like cabbage, herbs and Brussels sprouts (which can be an opinion divider). The peat becomes stronger when you give it some time. It is a combination of a light version of Lagavulin and some lemon skin scrapings. (water) There are canned tropical fruits and Scottish bonfires. Pure, TCP, salt, lemon, Sprite. Again it is becoming more vegetal after a while. There is even some Artisan tequila. All a bit strange, but behind that a remarkable purity lurks.
TASTE. There is a tropical fruit-infused smoke, which on the other hand is also quite sour and vegetal. It is quite short in the development. (water) Dilution brings the peat more to the foreground, and it is definitely vegetal. Something like cabbage salad with herbs, salt and smoked things. Smoked pineapple perhaps? There must have been some crazy chef there in the kitchen.
VERDICT. It is sort of an odd one. The combination of tropical sweetness on one hand (probably the Bruichladdich style together with the wine casks), and the vegetal side (where did that come from?) is slightly off-putting for me. Development is also slightly on the short hand. On the other side, I really like the purity in the background reminding me of artisan tequila/mezcal. So final decision? Let’s wait for the third edition.
Recommended for vegetarian peat heads?
Sample purchased from Whiskysite.nl.
What others say
- @Whiskybase: Mean score of 86.63 (78 votes)
- @Somersetwhisky.com: “Yep, I’m enjoying this, the smoked element really elevating it into a dram that suits me nicely, wintery warming joy in a dram”
- @Wordsofwhisky.com: “I really like that this isn’t too heavy on the smoke and peat” Score: 86/100
- @Whiskyloving.wordpress.com: “A very good lengthy finish with the sweet, warming peat on the palate and finish mixing in with the creamy vanilla, reminding me of whole grain pancakes and maple syrup”
- @Whiskyisrael.co.il: “This is a very nice PC, quite rounded and sweet in addition to it being peaty and smoky, with the right amount of reek” Score: 85/100