Sunday, April 5, 2015

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2006 and Valinch Seolaid

Thanks to a good friend I got samples of these two Bruichladdich drams. I hadn’t tasted Islay Barley 2006 earlier and the Port Charlotte Valinch is not just easy to come by, since it is sold only at the distillery.

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2006

This has been peated up to level 40ppm and it is made of barley from six farms and territories: Coull, Kynagarry, Island, Rockside, Starchmill and Sunderlandt. Laddie’s story can be found here: http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-whisky/port-charlotte/islay-barley

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My story begins with a color, which is a honey-amber like. Nice and oily, which is good. The scent is a instant winner for me. Smoke and peat. I also found some peat and smoke in there. Sweet and salty notes can be located in there too. I just love this stuff!

The scent also continues on the right trail. Smoked peat combined with sea, lemon, pepper and sweetness. This ends in a long finish, which fondles your brain and mouth equally well. This one just jumped onto my wish-list for “I want one bottle of this one”. This is a very enjoyable dram. While compared to the Scottish Barley, this is more elegant and soft, but more Shakespearian complex and both meaning and rhythm. Scottish Barley is more straight forward with a big lance and axe, while Islay Barley is dexterous and agile. Both have their places and both are required.

Port Charlotte Valinch Seolaid

This is a rare dram to find and get. This is 12 yo Port Charlotte (cask strength 53.2%), that has been matured in a Sauternes barrel. It seems that this is the same as here: http://www.whiskybase.com/whisky/62231/port-charlotte-cask-exploration-01

What makes this extra special for me, is that this is the first 12 yo Port Charlotte I’ve tasted. I enjoyed Octomore 4.2. Comus a lot and it had also the Sauternes element in it.

This is fabulously oily and dark dram. The scent is sweet, rich and the peatsmoke is in there – buried under a collection of other scents. The palate strikes with peat and smoke, combined with knights of the sweet order, singing their aura about rich merchants of Venice. This one has power and the tale, it has burning smoke and smoldering peat that accompany the bard on it’s journey across the land and sea. This is a experience and that kind of a great dram I enjoy. The finish lasts (almost) forever.

There are reasons why I appreciate and like smoky peat whiskies. This is one of them.

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