There’s a pure, focused smokiness in Bruichladdich / Port Charlotte’s peat, and it’s so well integrated into the dram that you get to enjoy the other notes like caramel, vanilla, and the Islay Barley’s malty-cereal notes appear as well. I can appreciate this gorgeous creaminess and the smoke never dominates.
Hats off to the foundational work that Jim McEwan and the rest of the Bruichladdich team have done here. I’m super excited to try more Port Charlotte in the future.
Medium peat initially. Nothing as potent as, say, Laphroaig 10 Year or Ardbeg. The smokiness is a pure scent, nothing medicinal. Letting it breathe some more, apples, vanilla, cereal notes appear. At 50% ABV, there’s no alcohol burn at all, it’s nicely integrated.
Vanilla, caramel, nice, light oily mouthfeel, a gentle smokiness enters now and stays with you throughout the mid-palate and finish. Caramel and honey are now more apparent by the 2nd taste, the peat is beautifully integrated, so it never tastes like you’re ingesting an ash tray. This isn’t a “peat bomb.”
The 50% ABV is beautifully balanced here as well. You get a slight bit of ginger heat, but nothing bothersome at all.
By the 3rd taste, you appreciate a lovely creamy, malty-cereal quality. It reminds me of the regular Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2012, but the peat actually helps to make the cereal notes stand out more.
Medium. Gentle bonfire in the distance. Fading vanilla. Light dark chocolate (60% cacao) bitterness helps to make this a pleasing dram.