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Issue 59 - Bruichladdich bonanza

Whisky Magazine Issue 59
October 2006


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Bruichladdich bonanza

Ian Buxton gets his taste buds tickled with the latest releases

Cult Islay distillers Bruichladdich has announced the release of a staggering eight new expressions.

Top of the heap is the Bruichladdich 125th Anniversary, commemorating the distillery's 1881 founding. This is based on a 1970 Bruichladdich finished in Alsace Pinot Grigot casks, said to be among the finest in the world. With a limited global release of just 2,500 bottles, the 125th Anniversary is expected to retail at £300 ($570) and up.

But the main excitement surrounds the first distillery release of Port Charlotte (from £55 in UK specialists, limited distribution). This 5 year old heavily peated malt is the first spirit to be distilled by the new team at Bruichladdich since the distillery began working again in May 2001.

Known as PC5, and bottled at a remarkable cask strength of 63.5%, only 6,000 numbered bottles will be available worldwide. In typically extravagant terms, master distiller Jim McEwan describes it as “like a thunderstorm…exploding with peat, bracken, heather roots, turf, oak, charcoal, marine pitch and gusting sea squalls…” Port Charlotte is distilled in a style that aims to recall a long-lost distillery just two miles from Bruichladdich that closed in 1929. While the distillery itself has been converted to other uses the warehouses remain, along with a lingering memory of a peat-soaked monster.

Ruraidh McLeod, the 85 year old former mashman, is said to be the last man living to have tasted the original. He said: “It was very, very peaty; bu...

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