This year Bruichladdich released two different special editions bottling for Feis Ile 2018, Both were Port Charlotte whiskies (meaning : heavily peated), and both available only at the distillery shop on the open day. Valinches are normally single casks bottlings you can get at the distillery, each is of a different profile, and this year since the focus is on Port Charlotte (new re-branding, bottlings etc), its only fitting the Valinch comes from a 2005 cask of Port Charlotte, fully matured in 2nd fill sherry for 12 years (distilled 21.11.2005, and bottled 2018), at a nice CS of 59.3% , as valicnhes go, this is a 500 ml bottle, there were only 956 ever made.
A full term maturation in ex-sherry casks, (2nd fill mind you, but still), means we’re about to get quite a bit of sherry in this one, and for me is highly interesting to see how the sherry and the PC distillate combination turns out. let’s try some …
I’ve heard some people really liked it, and some were not as enthusiastic, but for me this was certainly a good surprise! While the whisky takes some time to open up, it is really a lovely sherry influenced PC, boasting both fruit, and dirty PC-y earthy, tarry and pepper goodness. This is not your every day go to dram (and good it isn’t since there’s so little of it), but I can see myself enjoying it quite a bit when nights are chilly and I am into a rougher , sweeter and rather complex Port Charlotte. Not for everyone clearly, but highly enjoyable and complex. It’s not as refined at the Lagavulin 18, or easy on the palate as the Cairdeas Fino, but it is something worth seeking if you’re a Laddie fan.