Friday, November 13, 2015

43 different shades of Switzerland, Rugen Distillery: Forty 43 Three whisky

This is something that does not walk onto your door every day. To be frank, I hadn’t event looked up before if they do make Swiss whisky or not – so this was a very bright flash from the dark blue sky.
What is known about the Rugen Distillery? On July 1st in the year of 1999 the laws in Switzerland changed so that it made possible to produce whisky in those mountain valleys. the first Swiss whisky came out 2003 under the name “Mountain Highland” – and it was a single cask. I suppose, it was JUST the cask that appeared on the first year. The production went on in small quantities, until 2008 they produced their first Swiss Highland Single Malt.  Rugen Distillery was opened 2011, and they now do their magic in the shadow of one Rugen mountain (and under one roof). They do have a long history with brewing beer, since they’ve been doing it over 100 years already.
What about this dram then? The facts are that it is at least three years old (NAS), it is distilled gently in two steps and it is tamed down to drinkable percentage (43%). The interesting fact is also that the maturation happens in select oak barrels, that are resting in Rugen bedrock cellars which date back to year 1875.

The color is very similar to Scottish Highlanders and Belgian Own Whisky: amber.
The nose is my favorite part: sweet, honey, balanced, floral notes and some vanilla.  Not bad, not bad at all.

The palate is also very sweet. But after the while you can pick up Swiss chocolate and not that Swiss coffee from it rather easily. As time passes, the fire begins to burn hotter but it still remains sweet. Just add a bits of oil and the result is a enjoyable one.
At my first tasting, I was drinking the freshly opened “neck” out of this bottle. It’s nose was good, but the palate had not that much taste in it. So I do recommend to try this again after a few days, in case you need to start a fresh bottle in a tasting. Or give it a lots of air before tasting it.
It is apparent, that the whisky is young – very young – but it is ok, especially if you are looking for something Highlandish and without any smoke. This is sweet, and would work nicely as a after dessert dram too. I hope they plan to mature their whisky a longer time in those casks, just to see how this one evolves.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Port Charlotte PC12 58.7% of the Bruichladdich

Before I start to talk about this dram, I must ask.. how do you pronounce that? Laddie has done some interesting names with PC series earlier as well but this time I have absolutely no direction with that name. Oileanach Furachail. It is gaelic of course and refers to the apprentice who works with his master to learn the trade to be one day a master. Master and apprentice there always is.

I’ve been following Port Charlotte series since PC7, and I got the taste PC6 as well in one bar. I have no idea how PC5 was, but I must say it has been interesting ride all the time. There has been really different PCs with different aspects and all have been strong, no-bs, deterministic and full of dram.

PC12 is not a exception.
20150912140951-IMG_4236_small-2 The nose is a big fat hit on your face. It tells you to stop kidding and start taking this seriously. Viking style – nothing soft, but instead you meet harsh power, smoke, peat and sweet fruits. Ok, that was the soft side – they need to have skalds too.

If you let it have it’s time then you will find out that there is oak as well.
The palate is a clean cut with a real sharp Damascus axe. It starts with a stunning smooth cut but emerges with a sensation that you lost and you have been cut in half. The defeat.

This is a combination of full alchohol, crispy and smoky peat, exotic fruits, off this world spices and oiliness that has been inside earth for eons. The skald’s sweet talk emerges after you have endured warrior’s yells and bashes. It is really complex and constantly changing going through the kings of past centuries, bringing out their characters and quirks. Finally the time has no meaning and you end up staring at the endless sea of stars when the Northern lights paint the sky with red,green and magenta. It is the eternity. Following sips and easier but they reveal new faces, new experiences and tactics.

PC12 is the most complex PC I’ve tasted and it is one the most complex raw power drams I’ve had in a long time. This is the whisky to experience, you don’t simply just taste this.

You might get a more easier turn with this if you add water. But I think that you should try to endure this raw and use smaller sips instead and forget the time. Adding water is like letting the wave to get inside your boat: you will get wet and drown without experiencing the full storm instead. 

The Finish is something I was counting on. It is long, burning, smokeash and peaty. You will taste this a long time in your mouth so don’t experience this one in a rush. Give it time and you will find the well of stars.