Port Charlotte 12 Years Old 2002 – 127.42 Peat freak heaven
Islay single malt scotch whisky
63% ABV, £61.30 for 70cl from Scotch Malt Whisky Society
What they say:
Colour: Dull amber
Flavour: Heavily Peated
The nose had unmistakable smoke (though we argued about the intensity), something medicinal (plasters, surgical spirit, Fisherman’s Friends, Arm & Hammer toothpaste), toffee, oak, oranges in syrup and a bit of farmyard (wet wool, creosote). Farmyards were definitely present on the palate – along with candy floss, toffee on a steam train shovel and a salty, drying finish. The reduced nose took us to an old-style fairground (one with horses). The reduced palate was a bit easier – candy cough drops, boiled sweets, molasses, liquorice and menthol. We were not unanimous about this – but agreed that serious peat freaks would be in heaven.
Drinking tip – A hip flask dram for the horse trials or the Royal Highland Show.
What I say:
Originally sampled at SMWS The Vaults new list steak & chips tasting on 3rd February with Ryan McCafferty, this dram immediately struck me as something special and so I took up the chance to purchase 2 bottles at the pre-release sale after the tasting. These were promptly submitted for sampling by the WOLS members at the Water Of Life Society ‘For Peat’s Sake’ tasting held on 19th February 2015. Distilled 21st June 2002 at Bruichladdich Distillery under their heavily-peated Port Charlotte programme (SMWS distillery #127). This expression was matured a full 12 years in a refill barrel before bottling at cask strength and un-chillfiltered (as all SMWS bottles), producing 127 bottles at a whopping 63% ABV. Evidence enough that PC’s are clearly casked for maturation at straight-off-the-still strength!
Amber gold (7/20), thick but quick tears
Deep peaty and peanut/earthy, meaty and peaty, malty marmite, beefy, honey sweet, salt, caramel, brown sugar/treacle, TCP, germolene, sticking plasters, peanut brittle, smoked fish/kippers, gun oil and campfires
Sharp and spicy initially, briny, germolene/TCP, musty oak, thick and oily in mouthfeel, masses of thick earthy peat, some citrus zest, bacon, bbq beef, mesquite and dusty ash
Long, honey and oak and longer earthy and dusty peat
Another meal in a dram from Bruichladdich distillery. Not quite as extreme as their Octomore bottlings this has a slightly less peaty influence but still that mass of malty and meatiness that it accompanies so well. This was so flavour-packed that I actually got the impression of tasting something slightly different each time I tried it. I guess a large glass and pipette of water would go a long way with this one, each drop of water revealing ever more flavours and aromas.