These are very interesting times in the whisky business. Not only is whisky high-profile, it’s also high-profit. It’s very difficult to predict what any company’s sales volumes will be in 3-6 months – let alone 12-18 years from now, which is exactly what we ask whisky makers to do. Not to mention having to guess what particular style or flavor of whisky will be in demand.
There are some distilleries that have done a very good job at staying consistent and true to their fans, and others have chosen to stop bottling so as not to tread on their own name. Ardbeg, for example, regularly chooses to release a new label (and associated flavor profile) when their stock of another dwindles.
Bruchladdich distillery is another of the same sort – several labels that represent different profiles, although they have taken it a step further in giving it a completely different name. In 2001, the Bruchladdich (pronounced “Brook-LAH-dee”) distillery – normally very lightly peated (especially for an Islay whisky) – started producing a very heavily peated spirit and called it Port Charlotte (in homage to the name of the original distillery on that site). Instead of basterdizing the Bruchladdich name, they started anew. Kudos for that. Unfortunately, that’s one of the only nice things I have to say.
Overall, I felt that the distillers and blenders are trying to overcompensate for the lack of flavor by bottling at cask strength (or, not diluted from it’s ABV in the cask) – 61%. It’s young, sharp and flavorless.
- Appearance – I like the packaging. The bottle is smart – not traditional at all. The liquid has the color of apple juice.
- Nose – The heavy peat and sea air gives the aroma of bacon. There’s a hint of dehydrated pear, brandy cherries and spiced cider.
- Palate – Spicy, Salty, Bitter and oh-so-overly powerful
- Diluted – A bit more comes out in the nose – leather, rye bread and plantains – but little more flavor
- Body – A bit oily. Diluting turns it into a nice creaminess.
- Finish – HotHotHot. And spicy. And long.
- Rating – 1.5/5
The PC7 designation says 7 years of maturity – and I’m excited to see what PC10, PC12 and others bring, but for now I’ll leave it on the shelf.