I can’t resist sharing the tasting-notes of my Port Charlotte Cask, a sample of which I got two weeks ago (filled on 21st July 2001 – drawn on 4th July 2014, hence nearly 13 Year-old).
More on Bruichladdich Cantilena 2014 and on Highland Park Dark Origin…
Port Charlotte 2001 (work in progress) – Probably around 57%
Bright gold (a first fill bourbon cask!)
Intense, delicately marine, smoky and fruity. With that distinctive Bruichladdich character expressing sweet seashells, wet sand and summer fruit. Creamy vanilla, touch of coconut milk and gorse. Freshly squeezed lemon. Hint of cold ashes. Apricots stewed in a honeyed syrup. Luscious and tantalizing.
Satin-like feel. Sweet vanilla custard. Then the smoke creeps in and that delicate seashell flavour shines through. Oily texture.
The finish dries on soot and a touch of ginger.
Water enhances the marine and phenolic character on the nose. Hint of tar. On the palate, salty feel. Smoother too.
Work in progress indeed but almost there I would say. Shall I wait or bottle some of it? Decision will be taken in September!
Bruichladdich Special bottle – Cantilena 2014 – 50,3%
Nose: Intense, deep. Moss, bracken and humus. Heather roots. Dark fruit. Prunes, raisins, dried berries. Heady flowers. Bluebells, peonies. White pepper, nutmeg. Oak is perfectly integrated. Complex layers of fruit and oak.
Palate: Full-bodied. Dry with a fizzy feel on the tongue. Warm and generous. Dried fruit, chocolate, crystallized ginger. Burnt wood. Marzipan in the back. Lots of licorice.
Finish: Lingering, spicy, soothing on a fruity note.
Highland Park – Dark Origins – 46,8%
Unmistakeably sherried. Dark chocolate, toasted coffee beans. Treacle. Overcooked plum jam. Some licorice. Soft spices. Nutmeg. Distant smoke, more the smoke of burnt wood than peat.
Sweet at first then bitter. Oak prevails with an astringent note. Dry, with a spicy touch. Sultanas (more the skin than the pulp).
Dry and astringent. A mocha aftertaste.
That Highland Park certainly takes a walk on the dark side. But I would differ from the official tasting note which describe the colour as “mahogany”. To me it is far lighter. Dark gold yes, but not amber yet nor mahogany.
I like the balance, No age statement like it seems to be the rule nowadays, hence certainly under 12 Year Old. Why 46,8%? No idea…
I like the small video on Highland Park. Quite atmospheric and adequate.
The main flavour for me is coffee.