I know it’s been a while since my last post on the blog, but it’s not a paying gig and there were other things that were occupying my free time. I’ll try to get back to posting on a more regular basis and I’ll start with a recap and review of the #LaddieMP5 event held by Bruichladdich last Thursday.
In case you aren’t familiar with the MP term, MP means Micro Provenance as Bruichladdich are keen on testing and exploring the impact of terroir, barley and casks on the final result and last Thursday was the 5th public MP event (hence the #LaddieMP5 hashtag) where multitude of people around the world were tasting 3 whiskies chosen especially for the events. You can see the full live broadcast right here:
This time it was all Port Charlotte whiskies, peated to 40 ppm (as is the usual rate for PC whiskies), all of the same age (+/- few months).
Here are the notes I gathered on the #LaddieMP5 drams:
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year Old (Fresh Bourbon cask) (56.9%, cask #1999)
Nose: starts malty and intense with promises of spices with pepper and freshly sawed oak wood. Now the peat shows up and there’s a strong feel of freshness and sweetness despite strong note of salt. A few whiffs of fish sauce like being on the beach near the fishermen with their fresh haul, honey and vanilla pudding, I did say fresh, right? Getting sweeter over time, more vanilla pudding and the peat can’t rise farther and stays relaxed with a bit of perfume and peaches.
Palate: oh boy, hot, sweet and spicy with lots of salt going around. After it relax down a bit there’s gentle sweet peat with tar – very much earthy and tamed. Peaches and honey, white pepper and ending with spicy honey.
Finish: Gentle fresh oak, salt and honey and lingering sweet peat, salt.
That fresh bourbon cask was good and tasty and then we moved to the 2nd dram of the event – a Port Charlotte that was aged in fresh bourbon cask and then finished for only 9 months in Bordeaux wine casks before it got bottled.
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year Old (Bourbon & Bordeaux finish (59.9%, cask #0013)
Nose: I usually don’t talk much on whisky colors in my reviews but this one has a real nice color – it’s a bit pinkish with orange hue, real lovely. On the nose itself, the peat here is stronger and on the front with the red wine as backbone providing a strong support. It’s way better balanced than the fresh bourbon cask, tannins and sweet bubbly wine, red grapes, sweet fruits like fruits tea bags with pears, peaches and a dash of hibiscus leaves. This dram is also fresh but it’s drier and leaner. After a while it’s fruitier with lots of peaches and noticeably less peat, leading to a balance I could sniff for a very long time.
Palate: Hot and intense too, strong and sweet peat, dryness, tannins, sweet red fruit, hot yet with tender spiciness and white pepper. Good but lagging a bit behind the glorious nose.
Finish: surprisingly not much peat here, more Bordeaux impact, dry, tannins and red fruits.
This was one rocking cask, Can the third dram, Port Charlotte that was finished in a virgin oak cask for 6 months top this?
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year Old (Virgin Oak Finish) (63.5%, cask #0005)
Nose: Strong sticky sweetness which reminds me of the Octomore 7.4 that has a huge VO influence, scorched grill meat, smoke , burned meat crust, toast smoke, glue, vanilla, rich and balanced. A bit weird nose I have to admit but it works. After a while, more sweetness, vanilla and smoke and getting flatter a bit.
Palate: Overwhelming sweetness at first, then strong peat, smoke (separately), then again very sweet and lots of vanilla. With a few drops of water, it stays sweet but it’s less cloying and with added spices and pepper.
Finish: medium length, lingering sweet with a touch of smoke.
Thoughts: All three drams were interesting but for me cask #0013 with the Bordeaux finish was the winner of the event. It was clearly the best of them all and if there was a full bottle to buy, it would have a strong buy recommendation on it. Next Laddie event is #LaddieMP6 in May and it will be all Octomore and I’m so looking forward it! Slainte!