Archive | January, 2010

PC7 – the Destroyer!

26 Jan

I think one of the hardest things for me to do is to pour myself a small dram of something delicious and then attempt to post about it as I sip.

O! Port Charlotte! How you make me weak in the knee.

This amazing piece of work was put into physical form by the recently (as in the past 10 years) revived Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, Scotland. They decided to release a new line of whisky in respect and vein of the long-closed Port Charlotte distillery. Bruichladdich decided on the name PC5, PC6, PC7, and PC8 designating the age in the accompanying digit. All have received rave upon rave from many popular sources in the whisky world (aka Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible). You can check out their official Bruichladdich website here, but do not get your hope up for an extravagant display like Glenmorangie’s souped up site. Bruichladdich appears to me as an amazing down-home kind of distillery (still privately owned) that has retained much of its original character from the past. You can read about the Port Charlotte line history here. I am not entirely sure why their website looks like I wrote the source code in notepad.

The new PC5, PC6, PC7, and PC8 bottlings’ artwork is very contemporary, too, and really strays from the classic looks of most of the other scotch bottle artwork. I have heard many onlookers comment on how cool the bottle looks, though it looks more like an American release of some sort.

I am getting off track! Back to the whisky itself:

PC7 is almost one-of-a-kind. If I had not had a taste of PC5 and PC6 at The Williard’s Scotch Bar at the Round Robin in downtown Washington, DC, I would have been just as dumbfounded as I was when I tasted those two earlier releases. PC7 is the third installment of the PC (Port Charlotte) line of whiskies. As the whisky is getting older, the punch is calming down quite a bit. But when I am comparing the punch of Mike Tyson to Evander Hollifield, that punch is still going to hurt something awful.

The alcohol content is high (ABV 61%)–even for a cask strength release–and should not be taken lightly. A splash of water does not even come close to putting out the knockout one-two punch this dram offers up and no one would ever blame you for the move. The tang (often referred to as “fruit” flavored by the pros) on the tongue is also unmistakable. The finish is laden with a peat fire that lingers for quite a long time in the most delicious of manners around your entire palate.

I have sat down for a long time with the PC7 and it has yet to disappoint me. I find that if I try to switch from it to something else, the follow-up glass always seems to fall short.

Maybe it is because this one has been attempting to completely wipe my tongue clean of taste buds with its high alcohol content. Can that happen…? If it can, this one will almost certainly do it!

Ardbeg Heaven

25 Jan

Recently, I had to say goodbye to something I had grown quite attached too. My Ardbeg 10-year was merely a few months old when I had tapped it out via drinking, sharing, and our private tastings.

You will be sorely missed. That is, until I replace you with a beautiful brand-new twin of yours.

The beauty about Ardbeg 10-year is a virtual army of positive points:

  1. The smell. The heavy peat and smoke hit your nostrils like a powderkeg. Newbies to the world of strong flavors and smells may want to keep their nose further away from the glass when they sniff, but I can spend hours with my nose right next to this lightly golden whisky.
  2. The taste. Highly rated by all of the major whisky rating folks (e.g. the late-great Michael Jackson, the over-the-top Jim Murray, the Whisky Advocate), this young consistent superior flavor is loved highly by peat and smoke loving scotchies1.
  3. The availability. You can get it almost anywhere that sells even remotely decent single-malt scotches. I even found it in a small town in West Virginia.
  4. The price. Generally between $40-50. There are plenty of decent brands, ages, and styles in this price range, but when you are looking for something as delicious and satisfying as this, the only remotely comparable bottle (notably, another Ardbeg; the Uigedail) is about twice the price of the 10-year.

I am mostly excited that there is a heavy hitter on the market with a reasonable price that is easy to believe in.

Coming up: PC7 — a unique wonder of the scotch world.

1 This is a word I just made up and I already regret the lameness of it. Accept my apologies for being totally lame in this posting.

Curious Amateur vs. Connoisseur OR Off the High-Horse

25 Jan

Here we go again, folks. I have gotten over the fact that some greedy so-and-so took my coveted precious domain scotchfinder.com.
The more I engross myself into the enjoyment of scotch whisky, the more I find that people assume that I have become snotty about my drams. They perceive that my particular behavior with how I prefer my drink served in an aromatic-friendly glass means that I obviously would not like anything under the age of 20-years. The fact that I enjoy my scotch at room temperature, no ice, and generally (though not always) skip splashing a bit of water into my glass means that if it does not cost more than $200, I will not even TOUCH it. “Yuck! Is that a BLENDED??! Get that out of my face, scrub!”
I have also been called a “connoisseur.”

This is where I become conflicted. I really enjoying intriguing people into walking the plank head-first into the scotch whisky ocean, but I also do not like to be labeled that way. My enjoyment of drinking scotch only kicked into full-force in April of 2009! That is hardly enough experience (no matter how much people think I drink) to become the next Michael Jackson (no, not the recently deceased pop star… see here).
Hell, when do you even become a connoisseur?
In my opinion, that is the day that I put down the glass because I have learned everything there is to know about this wonderfully new alcohol buddy of mine. Just ask me about him/it sometime and I will be happy to tell you what I think I know.