This is the 2nd part of the Bruichladdich #LaddieTT2 Tweeter tasting that was held last week. (first part covering the 1st 2 unpeated whiskies is here)
This time 2 peated whiskies. Or to be accurate, 2 heavy peat whiskies, which is a blessing for peat heads (like your truly). Both the Port Charlotte and the Octomore whiskies are ‘sequels’ that this time uses the local Scottish grown barley (which was the tasting theme). Let’s see if and how does the local barley usage impacts those whiskies profile?
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Scottish Barley (50%, OB, buy for £49.47 here or €49.95 here)
Nose: Hello peat my friend! Sweet peat and smoke, a hint of antiseptic also shows up. After the peat recede a bit, we get cereal, greenery, apples and some hay as well. Given some more time in the glass we now get a bit more ashy note, burning bonfire. It smells very fresh and gentle.
Palate: On first sip, intense peat and BBQ ash/smoke on tongue, some hidden vanilla and honey. when peat dissipate, I get some cereal again. It definitely more dryer then the unpeated whiskies I reviewed yesterday. After tongue get used to those 40 ppm of peat (although they are very restrained), the 2nd sip reveals more salty note and the peat is more creamy. With a dash of water, the peat notes are more defined and sharper and more fruity (grapefruit is strong)
Finish: Long finish, smoked spices, some touch of oak. With added water it opens a bit and more fruity flavors lingers.
Bruichladdich Octomore 6.1 Scottish Barley (57%, OB, buy for £94.95 here or €139.90 here)
Nose: Salty, brine, BBQ notes, smoke and peat but not as fiery as you would expect from 167 ppm. The high ABV have impact here – there’s some alcohol burn but after letting it calm in the glass I find sweet cereal and barley notes behind the peat. Remarkably gentle nose!
Palate: Oh boy – what a punch of peat and smoke and salt but all so very rounded and balanced. on 2nd sip get lemon, salty butter – all very chewy.
Finish: Long! Oily and leaving taste of smoky BBQ meat glazed in honey and sprayed with salt. A very warming finish.
Conclusion: The Port Charlotte is very nice peated dram, showing good roots and with a good balance between peat and spirit – good for everyday drinking. The Octomore 6.1 on the other hand, is a monster, albeit half-tamed one. At only 5 yo it hides its youth quite well showing attributes of older whisky but sometimes the youth slips away and it punch you, and you enjoy it. Fantastic dram for bonfires and late night BBQ closing dram.
The impact of the Scottish barley is noticeable in all four expressions – there are stronger notes of cereal and barley then the other Bruichladdich expressions I’ve tasted in the past and I quite like this profile. Good job chaps!