Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008 Review - Port Charlotte PC 12 Oileanach Furachail Review


Introduction:

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. I usually buy these in Holland and sometimes in Germany or the UK. Sometimes I receive samples from friends or readers or independent bottlers. In only two cases I received a few samples directly from distilleries. When planning my reviews for the next months I always try to give attention to all Scottish Whisky regions as well as other Whisky/Whiskey/Bourbon producing regions all over the world with special attention to the USA, Ireland and Japan. And last but not least the blends. At the request of many readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will deal with a specific distillery like today or with specific bottlers, countries or regions. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't go into details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In today's special I will review two peated Port Charlotte expressions of the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay. Enjoy!
================================================



Whisky Review # 753

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Distilled at: Bruichladdich
Brand: Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008 (40PPM)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Most likely a mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and European Oak.
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 60-70 (July 2018)
Buying Advice: 😔 Interesting Malt. Lots of Ashes. Expensive given its age!

Colour:

Chardonnay (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young and a little Dirty but not unpleasant. Initially, the Smoke covers much of the other Aromas so be sure to give this Port Charlotte enough time in the glass. The Nose presents a combination of Floral, Fruity, Herbal and Farmyard notes.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Wet Clay, Dirty Smoke, Diesel, a mix of Cow Manure and Straw, Ashes, Burnt Tyres, Smoked Fish and Meat, Lemon, Green Apple and Pipe Tobacco.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather-Honey, Vanilla, Iodine, Soot, Oak Char, Dried Herbs, Cured Ham, Wax, Pine Needles, Pear, Leather, Mint and Papaya Cream.


Palate:

Young, a bit Rough and basically Bitter-Sweet. Quite Dry. Light Metallic Off-Note.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Burnt Toast, Peated Biscuits, Salted Caramel, Dirty Smoke,  Wet Earth, Ashes, Soot, Straw, Green Apple, Lemon, Leather, Pepper and White Chocolate.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Charred Oak, Herbal Tea, Smoked Fish & Ham, Pear, Banana, Nuts, Coconut, Sultanas, Cloves and Licorice.


Finish:

Very Long, Bitter-Sweet and slightly Hot and Dirty. Dry towards the end. Lots of Ash! Too much in fact. You're left with the impression of having cleaned a full ashtray with your tongue. I also find Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Dirty Smoke, Sweet Peat, Smoked Fish and Ham, Banana, Green Apple, Herbal Tea, Heather-Honey, Nuts, Pepper, Charred Oak, Leather and Roasted Coffee.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Port Charlotte despite the high ABV.

Rating: 85 

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience

Good and sufficiently interesting. Lots of Ash though!

Conclusion:

Bruichladdich was founded in 1881 by Barnett Harvey. During its history it was mothballed various times, the last time in 1998. In 2012 the distillery was bought by Remy Cointreau. Since, Bruichladdich is showing a healthy growth again. The distillery produces three types of Single Malt, i.e. the unpeated Bruichladdich, the heavily peated Port Charlotte and the very heavily peated  Octomore.

The Port Charlotte Islay Barley is one of the peated expressions of Bruichladdich and is made with Barley produced on 6 different farms on the isle of Islay. It's certainly an interesting Single Malt and there are more than enough interesting Aromas and Flavours to be discovered. It does contain an overdose of Ashes in my opinion and that's the reason I won't drink this Malt on a regular basis. But I enjoyed the Tasting session. It's a very Young Malt despite the Spicy price. It would be very interesting to see how this peated Bruichladdich would develop with more cask time. Would love to have a go at a 15 Year old Islay Barley!


=================================================


Whisky Review # 754

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Distilled at: Bruichladdich
Brand: Port Charlotte PC 12 Oileanach Furachail (40 PPM)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (Distilled in December 2008 - Released in 2014)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 58.7% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: Most likely a mix of Ex-Bourbon casks and Sherry Wood. A few Wine casks perhaps?
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 140-200 (July 2018)
Buying Advice:😏 Not bad but too expensive for what it offers!

Colour:

Tawny/Auburn (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The Sherry Wood is quite noticeable and covers the Peat and Smoke with a Sweet layer. I find quite a bit of Sulphur and some Metallic notes as well. It's not as Dirty as Ledaig or even Springbank but there are a few similarities. The Port Charlotte is much Sweeter though. I expected a Peat/Smoke Beast but on the Nose that's not the case. At 40 PPM this comes as a slight surprise.

Main Aromas:

Smoky Grist, Burnt Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Farmyard, Straw, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apricots and Sultanas, Dirty Earth, Charred Oak, Polished Leather, Wet Stones, Iodine, Lemon & Grapefruit Juice, Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate and Bacon/Fish on the BBQ.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Cooked Vegetables, Vanilla, Apple, Brown Sugar, Varnish, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Bitter Orange, Pineapple, Blueberry Pie, Heather-Honey, Mint and Cinnamon.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet, a bit Hot and slightly Soapy and Dirty. More Peat and Smoke than on the Nose. The Sherry, Sulphur - and Metallic notes remain noticeable. Quite Oily as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted and Malted Cereals, Salted Caramel, Sweet Dirty Peat, Factory Smoke, Wet Stones, Tar, Soot, Ashes, Dried Fruit like Plums and Apricots, Grapefruit and Lemon Juice, Bitter Orange, Licorice, Pepper, Ginger and Banana Ice Cream.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Rubber, Gasoline, Vanilla, Burnt Heather, Smoked Ham, Bacon, Polished Leather, Salted Peanuts, Roasted Coffee, Port/Bordeaux Wine, Cloves and Mint.


Finish:

Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, a little Rubbery and Medium-Dry towards the end. The Alcohol, Smoke and Soot are much more present than on the Nose. I find Toasted and Malted Cereals, Factory Smoke, Dirty Earth, Tar, Soot, Ashes, light Sulphur, Wet Rocks/Sand, Charred Oak, Salted Peanuts, Vanilla, Orange, Banana Ice Cream, Dried Fruit like Figs and Plums, Dark Chocolate, Port Wine, Polished Leather, Nuts, Espresso, Bacon/Pork on the BBQ, Licorice, Menthol and Pepper.

Drinking Advice:

Despite the high ABV I advise against adding Water. I got images of Menthol flavoured joint gel or something similar. Quite Weird. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 85.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5

Drinking Experience:

Good/Interesting. A bit too much Dirty notes like Sulphur, Rubber, Plastic and Varnish. This is not mainstream stuff. Springbank and Ledaig fans might give this one a go!

Conclusion:

Oileanach Furachail means "Islander that Pays Attention" and refers to Master Distiller Adam Hannett's apprenticeship with Jim McEwan from 2006-2015.

It's not easy to judge these Port Charlotte Malts. The Oileanach Furachail is certainly an interesting Single Malt. You won't get bored with this one. It's not mainstream stuff that makes you yawn. But it does carry a lot of Dirty half Off-notes. At this Price-Level I would like to see a stricter Cask Management. Like the Islay Barley above, the PC 12 is not a whisky for daily consumption. But it's certainly interesting to enjoy a dram once in a while, especially for those who enjoy Springbank and Ledaig. A last suggestion: I have a feeling it would pair very well with Charcoal grilled Sardines.

Jan van den Ende                                                                       July 23, 2018

The Pictures were taken during our visit to Bruichladdich in May 2014.

No comments: