Tasting: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC8

IMG_20140410_231319Dram data:
Distillery: Bruichladdich
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: 18.07.2001
Bottled: 27.07.2009
Age: 8 years
Limitation: 30.000
Price at the time of purchasing: 79€
Casks: American Oak?
Alcohol: 60,8%
Unchillfiltered, no added colouring
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The first sniff is very peat-smoky – no doubt about it, this is what many people associate with Islay whiskies. Beyond the smoke there’s a perceived freshness from the high alcohol strength and the first dark fruits make a background appearance. Raisins, figs, toffee. Some vanilla is to be found in the mix, some walnuts, a hint of pepper. The palate packs quite a punch, mouth-watering peat (but not iodine-laden like some other Islay malts), dark milk chocolate, oily, more dark fruits (very tightly packed, hard to pick apart). A drop of water tames the alcohol quite a bit (but still very drinkable without water!) and some bitter notes start to appear – chocolate-dipped ginger candy sticks are appearing in my mind. The finish is initially very punchy and dries down to a phenolic, smoky, lingering aftertaste which makes you dread brushing your teeth if you’re a peat lover.

Verdict:
PC8 to me is a very well done balance between old and young, peat and fruit. Not quite the young kid anymore but not an oak-laden adult either. Quite a bit more complex than the (quite nice) NAS bottlings replacing the age-statement PC-series from the samples I’ve had so far and an impressive demonstration on how one distillery can churn out many different styles of malt. I was surprised to see on whiskybase.com that this dram was matured in American oak casks (source for this statement not listed) – I would’ve thought of quite a few ex-sherry casks to be in the mix due to the darker fruits.

Score: 89/100

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