Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008

Bruichladdich has been pushing the sense of locality and terroir with their NAS offerings lately, and this Port Charlotte is no different, made with barley exclusively from the island of Islay, something the Peat Project we tried a few years ago didn’t claim, and a variant of the Scottish barley used in the Classic Laddie we recently had. The grain was harvested in 2008 from the farms at Coull, Kynagarry, Island, Rockside, Starchmill & Sunderland, then distilled that December before being aged on the shores of Loch Indaal. You’d strain to find a more local dram.

Distillery: Bruichladdich
Region: Islay
Age: NAS
Strength: 50%
Price: $74.99
Location: Port Charlotte
Nose: Gingered pear, cinnamon, light peat, sugar cookie, earth, wood, vanilla, smoke
Palate: Earth, lemon cheesecake (with water), peat, herbal, hay
Finish: Peat, smoke

Comments: Water can take a touch of aggression away from the initial taste, though is not especially needed.

“It makes you feel like you’re somewhere special, with some unexpected playfulness.”

Adam – Like breakfast in a glass. This whisky feels very crisp and clean, a delightful blend of expected peat and smoke intertwined with vanilla, fruit and a sprinkle of spice. The cooler weather highlights the Islay origins yet I have a feeling this will be equally enjoyable on sunnier days. Expertly blended and complex, this is a wonder to the tongue, even at 50%. 

Jenny – I’m getting pear, with a little peat and smoke. It is hot on the front with the sweet notes at the end. I like it at the end more, when it mellows out.  

Meghan – It smells a little like a cinnamon roll. I get a sweet/savory, bready maltiness. It’s not grainy. Incredibly drinkable, almost too drinkable. 

Michael – It’s savory. I love this scotch. I’m having a tough time describing it. It has a very layered profile, and can be very influenced by food. It’s rich and incredibly well balanced. A great winter scotch.

Peter –  One of my top 2 or 3 whiskies. It starts out hot, then it gets really soothing and warm and moves into a kind of sweetness at the end. Yum.

Caitlin – What I like a lot about this is that it’s easy to put back. It just hangs out in my nose a lot and I like that.

Mary-Fred –  Ginger and pear. Definitely a solid peat and smoke base with a hint of sweet spice. 

Ben – It’s hotter when you’re smelling it than when you’re tasting it. Like a deck on the lake house in a cold summertime night. I’m reminded of the first time I went to a lake house, to a shack in Wisconsin. I never knew lakes could be cold in August. It has a funness to the flavor, so it makes you feel like you’re somewhere special, with some unexpected playfulness.