Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Collection PC9. An incredibly limited release from Bruichladdich, this edition of the ferociously peaty Port Charlotte was aged for 9 years in American oak, and there were just 6,000 bottles produced.
No hanging around, it erupts from the glass in an olfactory fusion of black boot polish, pure peat smoke, spicy black peppercorns, treacle toffee, dark succulent dates, crushed sea shells, ozone, menthol – it’s a vortex of aromas. On the second wave, I find Christmas pudding, burnt orange and cinnamon sticks all contained within this cocoon of phenol. Absolute interfusion of Islay character.
Now you can taste the rich, sweet flavours from the Spanish casks, the crème brulée from the bourbon, the biscuity, shortbread flavours of the barley, and always, that magical zesty, lemon peel flavour that is so unique to Bruichladdich spirit. Those flavours give the spirit complexity and balance so that you are not suffocated in a peat bog; your senses are alive and awake. PC9 is still young and gaining in sophistication, it gives you that heart-warming feeling that comes from passion distilled with pride.
The finish is as glorious as an Islay sunset and it’s here on the ending that you experience some of the most pleasurable moments you will ever experience in the company of an Islay malt.