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The vicarious Feis Ile classes


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Hello, that is one among our (nearly) every day tastings. Santé!



Might 30, 2021


The vicarious Feis Ile classes
At this time Bruichladdich

Celebrating Islay and Feis Ile from Whisky Enjoyable Towers, with rigorously chosen whiskies from most distilleries, whereas we’re all dreaming of 2022…

At this time is Bruichladdich Day. Properly, I’ve simply determined that it might somewhat be Port Charlotte Day, and that we’d attempt to go ‘deeper’ this time. Not that yesterday’s humbler Lagavulin session has been completely traumatising, however there, and anyway there is no room right here for each Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte on the similar time. And why not Octomore then? Now we’ll see what Angus will add…


Port Charlotte 2010 'OLC:01' (55.1%, OB, 2020)

Port Charlotte 2010 ‘OLC:01’ (55.1%, OB, 2020) Three stars
The cask-bill is extraordinarily difficult right here. 40% 2nd fill American oak, 30% 1stfill American oak, 25% VDN and 5% 2nd fill syrah, then a 18-month end in oloroso. Holy featherless crow, that is marquetry! We’re nearly at Prowein or Vinexpo. Color: deep gold. Nostril: oh, the syrah popping out and… I’m joking. It is a high quality, smoky, peaty, bready malt, maybe not with loads pressure and responsiveness, however we’re high quality with this unexpectedly fermentary nostril. In brief, no straight vinous notes. With water: cow secure and fermenting grass and cherries. One thing like that. Mouth (neat): the spirit is robust, so it might stand and maintain something. As a matter of reality it begins fairly nicely, with good touches of raspberry wine (maybe) however then there’s this spicy fruitiness (Schweppes and Fanta) that feels a bit misplaced. With water: sameish. End: fairly lengthy. Bread, raspberry eau-de-vie and ashes. Feedback: a really uncommon proposition. I might perceive this set-up on Bruichladdich, much less so on a heavy peater. Take my palette and provides me a bottle of the beautiful common PC 10 for it, and we’ll be mates without end.
SGP:656 – 82 factors.

Port Charlotte 16 yo 2002/2018 (60.5%, Dramfool, 1st fill bourbon barrel, 221 bottles)

Port Charlotte 16 yo 2002/2018 (60.5%, Dramfool, 1st fill bourbon barrel, 221 bottles) Four stars
Ah, bourbon, that is civilisation! Color: gentle gold. Nostril: however after all. Regular peat, regular bourbon, regular oak, regular medicines, large portions of seawater and iodine. With water: white bread, ink, carbon paper. In brief, an ideal illustration of the French administration (boy I will be in bother once more). Mouth (neat): nice pure peaty bourbonness. Ashes, apples, lemons, vanilla, citronella… However 60.5% are an excessive amount of for me. With water: good, we tamed it. Citron liqueur (I am usually quoting this, please attempt to discover a bottle of, say Liqueur de Cédrat by Mattei in Corsica, you would be in for a deal with). Some salty doughs. End: lengthy and really salty, I am somewhat keen on this, you would use it to salt any soup. Feedback: nice peaty drop, only a tad uncomplicated.
SGP:557 – 87 factors.

Pl5 2009/2018 (63.1%, Elixir Distillers, Elements of Islay, bourbon hogshead and barrel, 582 bottles)

Pl5 2009/2018 (63.1%, Elixir Distillers, Components of Islay, bourbon hogshead and barrel, 582 bottles) Four stars
I’ve an enormous back-catalogue of PCs, some fairly previous already. Color: straw. Nostril: pure ashes, tarmac, brine, sauvignon blanc, rhubarb juice, contemporary almonds and simply peat smoke. Crystal-clean and proper up my alley. Contact of vanilla and biscuit. With water: related, simply simpler, with a bit of chalk and a bit of lambswool. Nothing completely surprising. Mouth (neat): superb, easy, crystalline, lemony and ashy, with a whole lot of tar too. Seawater. With water: I imagine it is the saltiness that will set it other than the opposite peaters on the island. That is unusual for the reason that barley was not malted on the Islay. Salty bread and ashes. End: somewhat lengthy, somewhat chalky. A sense of sucking your model new woollen sweater. Feedback: a bit of austere and superb. Doing such a session shouldn’t be straightforward, simply saying. Bruichladdich would have been simpler…
SGP:457 – 86 factors.

Pl6 2011/2019 (55.3%, Elixir Distillers, Elements of Islay, bourbon barrels, 1163 bottles)

Pl6 2011/2019 (55.3%, Elixir Distillers, Components of Islay, bourbon barrels, 1163 bottles) Four stars and a half
This one too I ought to have tried earlier. Color: straw. Nostril: feels somewhat lighter and extra natural, extra on camphor and contemporary butter, croissants, carrot soup, putty, marzipan… This noses as if it was twenty years older. Fairly. With water: marzipan and putty up, linseed oil, contemporary oil paint… Fairly a Van Gogh of a younger whisky! Mouth (neat): superb. Lemon tarte with meringue, stewed rhubarb, tarry teas and liquorice, contact of mustard and inexperienced walnuts… That is all very good. With water: there, kippers, salt and limoncello, plus ashes. End: lengthy, a bit of peppery now. Ashy and tarry aftertaste. Feedback: splendidly mature at simply 7 or 8.
SGP:367 – 88 factors.

Port Charlotte 10 yo 2008/2019 (56.5%, The Cask Whisperer, Jim McEwan's Private Stock, Château Margaux wine cask, cask #3562, 329 bottles)

Port Charlotte 10 yo 2008/2019 (56.5%, The Cask Whisperer, Jim McEwan’s Personal Inventory, Château Margaux wine cask, cask #3562, 329 bottles) Three stars
A few of Massive Jim’s inventory. I am a bit of shocked he would have secured some ex-Margaux again within the days. Color: neither crimson, nor pink, somewhat mirabelle yellow. Phew. Nostril: you do spot some cabernetty notes right here and there, in addition to apricots and positively cassis, geranium flowers and peonies, however I do not discover any clashes and I would not name this a peated winesky. It’s even fairly mild. With water: copper polish, dunnage, previous wine cellar, wool, and a nuttier peatiness. Pink grapefruits. Mouth (neat): I discover this gorgeous good, not un-Port-Charlotte, probably not winey, only a tad too peppery for me, and I imagine that is the contemporary French oak. Thoughts you, Château Margaux, if that is correct château wooden for the 1er Cru, solely use their barriques as soon as. With water: will get a bit of leafy. A couple of clashes right here and there now, peat and raspberries and such… End: somewhat lengthy, very leafy. In my e-book, French oak makes many whiskies excessively leafy/spicy. Cassis mustard. Feedback: might have been a lot worse.
SGP:567 – 82 factors.

Port Charlotte 17 yo 2001/2019 (52.8%, The Cask Whisperer, Jim McEwan's Private Stock, Sherry cask, cask #834, 340 bottles)

Port Charlotte 17 yo 2001/2019 (52.8%, The Cask Whisperer, Jim McEwan’s Personal Inventory, Sherry cask, cask #834, 340 bottles) Two stars and a half
Attention-grabbing, some early pre-record-breaking-era Port Charlotte, accomplished earlier than they began to ‘crank up the ppms’. Color: full gold. Nostril: smoked raisin rolls and pecan pies, that is what I get at first. Not a nasty begin. A contact of sulphur (cabbage, used matches), some pipe tobacco, some cherry jam, then truffles over grenadine. Maybe a bit of unlikely, maybe was it a prototype cask again in 2001? With water: somewhat tighter. Glue, walnuts and morello cherries. Sounds unusual however I discover it nice, and it’s actually not too sulphury. Mouth (neat): enjoyable however actually unlikely. Turmeric, leather-based, plasticine, cinnamon mints, bitter apples, tarry rubber, cherry lozenges… With water: not too certain. Peppered blood oranges? End: lengthy, leathery, peaty, peppery, gingery, with additionally a great deal of cherry jam. Feedback: wasn’t this one a bit of experi-mental? Fairly for the document, I might say.
SGP:566 – 79 factors.

I am certain we’ll discover a 90+ however at this tempo, the hunt could also be lengthy… Let’s attempt an uppercut…

Port Charlotte 13 yo 2001/2015 (63.5%, The Bottlers, refill bourbon hogshead, cask #1031)

Port Charlotte 13 yo 2001/2015 (63.5%, The Bottlers, refill bourbon hogshead, cask #1031) Five stars
Properly, simply ask! Ah, the Bottlers a.ok.a. Raeburn Superb Wines and their Cognac-like bottles, they did some utter glories prior to now they usually’ve reigned supreme on our lists. Their Broras, for instance… Color: gold. Nostril: there, good, a manzanilla! I do know that is bourbon. Peat, mustard, inexperienced walnuts, contact of curry, seawater, some seafood (say razor clams?) and a few menthol. No quibbles. With water: some metallic and earthy touches. Good. Mouth (neat): oh superb! Very superb! Good dry, walnutty, bitter, fino-like arrival certainly, then a rising smoky pepperiness that performs along with your tongue and litre of dry natural cordial. Grapefruit. With water: will get saltier and extra coastal. Jogs my memory of some older vintages from the easternmost distillery on Islay’s south shore. Proper, in direction of Kildalton. End: lengthy and ideal. Feedback: yeah proper, I am six years late. Disgrace disgrace disgrace. Oh and seems like correct dry sherry, actually; was it actually a bourbon hogshead?
SGP:467 – 91 factors.

Port Charlotte 6 yo 2011/2018 'Islay Barley' (50%, OB)

Port Charlotte 6 yo 2011/2018 ‘Islay Barley’ (50%, OB) Five stars
Boy am I late as soon as once more! Color: white wine. Nostril: nonetheless on new-make-y notes, gorse, delicate bread, contemporary panettone, nougat… I discover this adorably mild and clean. Some sourer notes on the background, asparagus, lime, olives, vegetal earth… I discover this somewhat very good. With water: o.l.i.v.e.s. Mouth (neat): simply good. Tight, tart, vertical, on lemons, peat, tar, ashes, bread and chalk. With water: extra olives, bitter almonds, grapefruits, brine… Simply good. End: lengthy, brine-y. Feedback: nobody wants lengthy tasting notes. As Voltaire as soon as mentioned, ‘I wrote a protracted tasting be aware as a result of I had no time for a brief one’. Yeah, Voltaire was a whisky fanatic, all people believes he was solely feeling on scorching chocolate, however that is as a result of he used so as to add some Port Charlotte to it whereas nobody was watching. Proper, it was the previous Port Charlotte distillery (S., please!)
SGP:467 – 90 factors.

I feel we have reached cruising altitude, have we not…

Port Charlotte 13 yo 2004/2017 (54.1%, Caora, 1st fill bourbon barrel, cask #969, 314 bottles)

Port Charlotte 13 yo 2004/2017 (54.1%, Caora, 1st fill bourbon barrel, cask #969, 314 bottles) Four stars and a half
Appears to be like like they hadn’t employed Jeff Koons (or Stranger & Stranger) for the label, however that is in all probability higher. Color: straw. Nostril: however sure. Sunflower oil, lemon zests, almonds, asparagus, seashore sand, oysters, tar lozenges, etcetera. Steel polish. With water: very good. Loves water. Almondy riesling. Mouth (neat): good ex-bourbon PC, just a bit tough across the edges (considerable pepper). With water: don’t add an excessive amount of water or some fairly vulgar notes of coconut and vanilla will come out. Who wants coconut and vanilla? So long as you do not it’s going to stay good. End: lengthy and ideal. Smoked and salted almonds. Feedback: one more admirable drop. A simple methodology for heavy peaters: simply abandon any wine wooden, together with sherry (until you solely truly launch the 20% greatest). However then once more, who am I?
SGP:457 – 89 factors.

Port Charlotte 15 yo 2003/2019 (55.5%, Maltbarn, sherry cask, 171 bottles)

Port Charlotte 15 yo 2003/2019 (55.5%, Maltbarn, sherry cask, 171 bottles) Four stars and a half
I do know, that is peat and sherry however perhaps is that this one a part of these 20%? Color: amber. Nostril: ah, perhaps! Walnut cake and pecan pie, toasted nuts, peanut sauce (Indonesian satay, I might kill for that), then fumes and engine oil. Think about if we ever purchase a Tesla, all we’ll be left with will likely be whiffs of plastic. You are proper, so long as it’s not burnt plastic…With water: no, beautiful. Kumquats, bergamots and mentholy tar. Sauna oils. Mouth (neat): it’s clearly sherry. Fish bouillon, tight herbs and spices (allspice, ras-el-hanout), dried orange and cloves, tobacco, brine, capers, cough syrup, mint drops… With water: simply add a drop. Not even certain it actually wanted water; it tends to change into a tad too chocolaty. End: lengthy, dry when decreased, brighter when neat. Feedback: clearly one of many higher sherried PCs. Certainly, a part of these 20%.
SGP:467 – 89 factors.

A final one. We’ll have many extra sooner or later….

Port Charlotte 2009 'MC:01' (56.3%, OB, 2018)

Port Charlotte 2009/2018 ‘MC:01’ (56.3%, OB) Three stars and a half
This one was aged in French oak and bourbon, then completed for two years in Marsala. No concepts why. Color: deep gold. Nostril: Marsala may be harking back to sherry, which is somewhat the case right here. I do not suppose that is very winey, however there’s a little gunpowder and a few struck matches. With water: a lot nicer, with oils, chives, oranges, lemon powder… Mouth (neat): a giant beast mixing peat, gunpowder and raisins. Excessive however that was in all probability the entire thought right here. With water: a lot cleaner once more, extra on lemons, seawater, ashes, uncooked peat… End: lengthy, a tad grassier and spicier. Feedback: you see I am utilizing nice water, it nearly eradicates each sulphur and wine. Requests on a postcard.
SGP:467 – 84 factors.

Over to Angus in Edinburgh…


Bruichladdich Origins (57.5%, OB for Feis Ile 2021, 3000 bottles)

Bruichladdich Origins (57.5%, OB for Feis Ile 2021, 3000 bottles)
A 13 cask ‘cuvee’ composed of whisky from 12 totally different vintages with a minimal age of seven years previous, 6 barley varieties and 9 totally different cask varieties. It sounds simply as busy as Bruichladdich’s courtyard on open day. Let’s have a look at what has emerged from such a medley… Additionally, I be aware the bottle picture says 56.3% and my pattern says 57.5%. Pricey Bruichladdich, does this imply that I am attempting a vat pattern somewhat than the precise liquid from the bottle? Color: pale gold. Nostril: the excellent news is that there is a very acquainted ‘freshness’ that I discover characterises fashionable Bruichladdich and it is on show right here entrance and centre. So somewhat a whole lot of ripe inexperienced fruits, some softer coastal tones, sea air and even some lighter medicinal features comparable to bandages. In time there’s a bit of extra peppery warmth which feels prefer it’s coming from the wooden, however no complaints right here. With water: a beautiful and beneficiant fruitiness now with water, overripe inexperienced fruits, fruit salad juices and a method that feels nearly nearer to that of 70s Bruichladdich. Mouth: the wooden is extra grippy on arrival within the mouth however it’s properly balanced with the enjoyably fats and gloopy distillate. Some notes of melon, olive oil, pollens, sandalwood, banana chips, hessian. Pulls in fairly a number of instructions, however it nonetheless feels properly ‘Bruichladdich’. With water: once more, somewhat fruit ahead with hints of mango, limoncello in tonic water and a few touches of lanolin and white pepper. End: medium, a bit of drier, extra peppery and nonetheless properly contemporary. Feedback: I abruptly want I used to be on Islay, somewhat loads. I discover this superb and the composition of all these numerous forces appears to have settled in stability, which isn’t any imply feat. I particularly like this somewhat beneficiant and straightforward fruitiness and freshness. A really perfect Feis Ile launch.
SGP: 651 – 87 factors.



Port Charlotte 8 yo 2011/2021 PAC:01 (56.1%, OB, bourbon & ex-red wine)

Port Charlotte 8 yo 2011/2021 PAC:01 (56.1%, OB, bourbon & ex-red wine)
Matured for 6-7 years in bourbon barrels then re-racked into ex-Pauillac crimson wine casks. Color: gold. Nostril: I truly discover it extraordinarily contemporary and pure, all on moist rocks, seawater, sea spray, brine after which these softer notes of ink and hessian. Impressions of coal smoke and peat embers. Actually beautiful nostril! With water: actually doubles down on this impression of hessian, tarry rope, creel nets, ink and oily sheep wool. However nonetheless additionally fairly saline and contemporary. Mouth: a bit of extra spicy encroachment from the French oak now, pickled onion Monster Munch (a delicacy, look it up!), sardines in olive oil, tar, embrocations, paprika. Ever so barely uncommon however nonetheless works I feel. With water: water appears to brush apart these spicier oak tones and it is now extra on inexperienced pepper, miso, smoked olive oil, tar, medical embrocations and a bit of plasticine. End: lengthy, various lemon oils, tar, caraway, iodine and pickling juices. Feedback: I feel the ending right here was accomplished with a light-weight contact and labored fairly nicely. There isn’t any sense of overly-lopsided crimson wine sloshing concerning the place. Identical high quality because the Origins in my opinion.
SGP: 466 – 87 factors.



Port Charlotte 18 yo 2001 (60.4%, OB Private Cask 'HJW No2', #R09/216-8)

Port Charlotte 18 yo 2001 (60.4%, OB Personal Cask ‘HJW No2’, #R09/216-8)
Hey, wasn’t that cask quantity a droid in Star Wars? Color: deep gold. Nostril: there may be undeniably ‘one thing’ about these first few vintages of Port Charlotte, particularly at this age. I get quick notes of Brora, bandages dipped in seawater, mercurochrome, petrol and pure tar. It is also wildly salty and briny with notes of anchovy paste and extra seawater. With water: smoked olive oil, verbena, wormwood, olive brine and pine wooden. Certainly, these olive notes get fairly loud with impressions of black olive bread and sea salt. Mouth: splendidly emphatic, tarry, oily, peaty, briny and textural by way of mouthfeel. Like peated petroleum jelly. Some dried herbs, wintergreen, soot, engine oil, camphor and Barbour grease. Extra of those distinctive Brora / farmyard vibes too. With water: completely salty, chiselled and but additionally splendidly oily and textural nonetheless. Camphor once more, petrol, tar, iodine, mentholated oils, dried seaweed and dried rosemary. End: lengthy, farmy, deeply oily, smoky, many extra dried black olives, herbs and wee sooty touches. Feedback: actually watch these batches! Within the phrases of nice Michiel Wigman: “Future basic!”
SGP: 476 – 91 factors.


Tja, heavy peat and wine = Russian roulette. Subsequent time and as a precaution, we’ll solely have ex-bourbon or ex-refill Port Charlotte.

Tomorrow, it is Caol Ila Day! Keep tuned…









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