As promised in my previous New Release post, I had a chance to try the newest release in the Port Charlotte Evolution series from Bruichladdich and have some notes. I just want to say here I’m glad I made that promise, because this stuff is excellent!
For those who don’t know, the PC series from Bruichladdich is a set of bottlings featuring spirit from heavily peated malt (55ppm, I believe) meant as a precursor to the eventual reopening of the long gone Port Charlotte distillery in the Islay town of the same name. The first release, PC 5, was extremely limited and flew off the shelves, as it was also extremely excellent. The second release, PC 6, was much larger and is still available, and while I quite enjoyed and would recommend it, it didn’t resonate for me like PC 5.
PC 7 falls in the middle of the excellence of 5 and the “very goodness” of 6. This bottling is 7 years old, 61% abv, drawn from a combination of first fill bourbon casks vatted judiciously with first fill sherry butts, outturn was 24,000 bottles. The first pass through uncut didn’t reveal the high abv, which is nice. Beautiful spicy, briny, mildly smokey nose (maybe a touch dirty), definite smoke on the palate but a surprising amount of fat sweetness as well. Problem here is the two didn’t immediately mesh. The addition of water changed all that, however. Once cut only slightly, then subsequently more, that beautiful smoke, salt, and spice began working in lock step with the sweetness. First thing that struck my mind was Cinnabon! There is a definite pronounced cinnamon character, but not sharp and hot like a cinnamon toothpick, but to me literally like a cinnamon breakfast bun, all the flavors you want with surprising weight for the relative youth of the whisky. This bottling shows the great potential for future release in this series.