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Bruichladdich, PC9 (Scotland)
When Port Charlotte was produced by Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery in 2001 it was the peaty antithesis to ‘standard’ Bruichladdich. However, the subsequent distillation of Octomore, with peating levels up to a record 131ppm, now make Port Charlotte a ‘middle-of-the-road’ variant from the distillery on the western shores of Loch Indaal. The last limited edition of Port Charlotte spirit appeared as a nine-year-old under the PC9 label earlier this year, and the out-turn was just 6,000 bottles. This expression was named An Ataireachd Ard, which translates from the Gaelic as ‘the surge of the sea.’ It will be followed in 2012 by the graduation of Port Charlotte to the general Bruichladdich portfolio as a 10-year-old. According to a company spokesperson, “This was an ultra-limited release and the final step on this fascinating journey before Port Charlotte came of age. We considered not releasing a PC9, as there is so little of this precious spirit left, but then we felt an obligation to the many thousands of fans who have supported and followed its progress through PC5, PC6, PC7 and PC8 - how could we not allow a lucky few to take this next, important step on the journey with us?” Unabashed peat on the nose, with black pepper, treacle toffee, clams and scallop shells. Sweet and fruity in the mouth, with a hint of Bourbon, digestive biscuits and plump barley. Citrus fruits, notably lemon, lurk in the background, while the finish is lengthy, smoky and warming. 59.2% ABV, 70cl, £66.95, specialist whisky merchants.

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