Today’s post is dedicated to Norrie Campbell (or as some know him : Kimbel). For those who are not familiar with Norrie and Peat, here’s a brief account of both:
Peat is defined as the accumulation of partially decayed vegetarian matter. The Peat forms in bogs, swamps and moors and since it’s a very good source for energy it’s used worldwide as a fuel. In Scotland and other countries where trees are scarce, peat is used as a heating / cooking material.
The whisky industry is historically a major consumer of peat, which was used for heating and drying the malted barley, which gives it its very “smoky” nature. Islay malts especially are made from heavily peated barley, that gives it their unique and world famous smell and taste. It is often mentioned that Islay has enough peat to support the current rate of peat cutting for the next 10,000 years. Plenty of time … 🙂
In the olden times, when peat was a major source of energy in Scotland, peat cutter was a mainstream line of work. The peat which is often moist, needs to be cut into squares and then dry in the winds , only then will it burn and release its energy.
Norrie Campbell, lived on the Isle of Islay, and was the island’s last Peat Cutter. Norrie started cutting peat for money when he was just 12 year old, and continued doing so until he passed away in 2006 at the age of (almost) 60, thus supplying the distilleries with the needed peat for their maltings . Norrie Campbell was quite the character, and enjoyed showing tourists, and strangers his trade, and explaining to them the art of peat cutting by hand.
The next dram we’re about to review is a tribute to Norrie Campbell, and his profession : cutting peat.
Bruichladdich 3D3 is named for the usage of 3 Warehouses, 3 Vintages and 3 Peating levels which are vatted together to create this very interesting expression. The 3D3 contains “ordinary” Bruichladdich (which is not peated) , Port Charlotte (peated to 40 ppm), and Octomore (peated to 80.5 ppm) [not the 1.1 Octomore, but the first one which was less peaty –gg].
Now let’s continue to the notes:
Bruichladdich 3D3 ‘Norrie Campbell’ , 46 % ABV , 40 ppm , £40.35
Color: Pale gold
Nose: It’s a true laddie in nature when it comes to the fruitiness, but all this is layered below a nice peaty cover. It reminds me quite a bit the Octomore 2.1 nose. I like it.
Mouth : Ashe, Big Peat, but sweeter notes are abundant. You get a very delicious sort of “peaty” lollipop feeling, which is quite interesting. It’s very strong, and peppery.
Finish : Peppery, Ashy, quite long and enjoyable.
Summing it up :
While not Enormously complex, it’s very enjoyable and not as flat as can be expected. The sweet-peat-fruit mélange does the work. It’s a sort of in your face! Malt, I’d recommend it to peat lovers especially and those who like a very strong impact of coal, smoke, and ash in their face, nose and throat. It’s not an Octomore, or a supernova, but it’s darn peaty and wild. The Price (£40.35) is also not too high, and you get a chance to sample some PC, Octomore and laddie in one.
Norrie, this wee dram is in your honor!