Whisky Review – Port Charlotte PC11 ‘Eòrna Na h-Alba’ (Bruichladdich)

Port Charlotte PC11 ‘Eòrna Na h-Alba’ (Bruichladdich)
59.5% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No added Colouring
~£95 available from Airports

Port Charlotte PC11 has been out for a while now and I’ve had a bottle open for a good few months so I thought it about time I should jot a bit about it. 🙂

Nose.

Quite a bit of iodine. Sea air. A touch of mackerel. Glazed ham. Deeply malty maltloaf. Bonfire smoke of course, and a touch of medicinal (TCP) smoke about the nose also. There’s sherry notes amongst the meatiness, some raisin, christmas spices, clove, cinnamon and chocolate. Very complex and worthy of your time to investigate.

Palate.

Big flavours, quite a nip from the ABV, but getting past that there is waves of intensity. Arrival is immediately complex, sweet, hot, intense sherry notes. Raisin, plum, fruitcake, then as the nip fades we have more meaty elements, ham, smokey bacon, then back to fruit again and cinnamon spices, sweet baked brown sugar notes. All through this time the viscosity of the whisky is clinging around every part of the mouth delivering more and more variance. It’s really remarkable. I don’t know how I’ve managed to keep this bottle so long.

Finish.

The long finish exhibits more from the palate, classic Islay maritime, amongst the meatiness of ham, burnt caramel, dark dried fruits and the spices (cinnamon/clove) from the sherry casks. The finish goes on for an age.

Adding water.

Splash added. With the reduced ABV you can get into the glass a little more and explore the new depths of the aromas. In fairness not a lot chaos changed, it’s still awesome! The palate has changed, the fruit is more integrated now and we have some intense things going on. The mouthfeel still thick, transports a heavier laden fruit filled extravaganza, with the meat elements reduced somewhat, but still ever present. There is some additional juiciness to the fruit, with the spices toned down a little. There are cherries and chocolate now alongside the fruitcake, and thick burnt mossy smoke. The finish, long as ever and beautiful with it.

Conclusion.

A beautifully constructed and deeply complex dram. It’s quite gutting in some ways this is a travel exclusive, because it is so bloody good and totally unfair to make it only for the airports. But anyway, I can cry about it as much as I like, where there’s a will there’s a way, and I have willpower to ensure I get a bottle. :-). You should too. It’s amazing stuff. If you like Islay drams, sherried to perfection, or you’re a fan of Bruichladdich, well, why haven’t you got one already? 🙂

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Whisky Review – Arran 2004 (bottled 2014) Orkney Bere Barley

Arran 2004 (bottled 2014) Orkney Bere Barley
56.2% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No added Colouring
£55.15 available from MasterOfMalt

Nose.

A lively, spicy, Barley rich nose. Vanilla. Pepper. Creamy fudge. There’s a not unpleasant oaky dust to the nose which takes forefront. Time in the glass and we get more butterscotch and creamy vanilla coming forward.

Palate.

Intensely rich vanilla custard. Creme brûlée. The mouthfeel is immense and silky. Touches of lemon rind and pith. A slight saltiness mid development which evolves into more lemon tart and cream notes. Really tasty and mouth twanging. This is a sour citrus dominant palate, and it’s very good at it. There’s a little sweetness offsetting this late in the development into the finish.

Finish.

Medium to long, citrus juices and peel, sugar and salt, custard and cream. Complex and enjoyable.

Adding water.

Added a few drops. The nose is more citrus dominated now, with many of the flavours from the palate now appearing intensively on the nose. The pleasant dustiness is more integrated with the lemon juices and vanillas more balanced. The palate has even more depth of flavour, with more richly intense lemon cheesecake notes and creamiest of vanilla. The sweetness comes much sooner and really is glorious now. Fantastically explosive palate. Very very impressed. The finish is longer, richer, warming and extremely satisfying. With a sour lemon note coming back at the very end, making the final lip smacking all that so much more enjoyable. A drop of water is a must for me with this whisky.

Conclusion.

This is a very complex and enticing dram. It’s possibly not for everyone as it is quite sour intensive, but I love it as a different dram to the normal, there’s a lovely balance end development and into the finish which sees some lovely sugar notes and adds complexity and intrigue. When you add water it’s another ball game entirely, and this whisky becomes a tour de force of sweet and sour lemon and vanilla. Fantastic stuff. Beautiful.

Great thanks to Arran for providing the review sample.

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Whisky Review – Clontarf 1014 Single Malt Irish Whiskey (Aldi)

Clontarf 1014 Single Malt Irish Whiskey (Aldi)
40% ABV
£19.99 from Aldi

Nose.

Lots of intensely sweet fruit. Citrus, orange, lemon, green apple, pineapple. Liked boiled down jelly sweets. Very sweet, almost sickly, but pleasantly though and very juicy. Not much in the way of spice, but possibly a touch of very light pepper in the background. There is a wee touch of oak presence. Time in the glass and more confectionary favourites come forward, pineapple cubes, marshmallow, orange and lemon fizz bombs and even a touch of cola.

Palate.

Sweet and oaky arrival, touch of bitter saltiness, then waves of fruit, not quite as intense as on the nose, but prominent pineapple, lemon and lime, touches of orange juice. It’s very juicy. There is a touch of drying oak into the development.

Finish.

The finish is short-medium, concentrates on the drying oak shavings, kind of like chewing on a pencil, but with a rubber made from fruit jelly sweets.

Adding water.

Just a touch added. The intensity of the fruit has diminished slightly in favour of the dusty oak. The palate has weakened also, and while the drying oak elements are quieter, so is the juiciness, the finish isn’t quite as drying, but overall I prefer this dram without dilution.

Conclusion.

A very nice low budget whiskey. It’s very easy drinking and juicy stuff. A perfectly good session dram to see you through Xmas.

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