We conclude our journey among the “Elements of Islay” bottlings proposed by the Milano Whisky Festival last week with the only unpeated whisky of the group: the fourth expression of Bruichladdich. And we say ‘unpeated’ without fail, because recently the first Port Charlotte of the series was released, curiously called Pl1. Let’s not linger any longer: the color is straw yellow.
N: overwhelming is the contribution of ex-bourbon barrels, among which certainly not few were first-fill: tons of vanilla and intense fruity notes (yellow fruit: ripe pineapple), then sugary chamomile. Traces of sea (light, let’s say “a slight sea breeze”), mineral and a little alcohol. Slowly the malt comes out; the Elements of Islay style is confirmed, discreet and essential. With a drop of water it improves, the alcoholic harshness is attenuated and the fruity / vanilla side explodes, with also notes of aromatic herbs and aniseed.
P: great consistency: in addition, there is a note of lemon juice that alternates very pleasantly with vanilla and coconut sweetness. The malt comes out great, evolving towards salty and marine, savory suggestions, especially before the finish. The intense fruit is excellent (pineapple again), enhanced by water. Then again chamomile.
F: very malty, biscuity (sometimes it becomes a bit bitter); not very long, to be honest, nor too intense. It amazes, however, with an unexpected note of grapefruit.
Without water this Br4 is not without edges and ‘imperfections’ (i.e. the gradation is a bit intrusive), but with a few drops it opens and confirms the always high quality of what comes out from the stills of Bruichladdich: on the whole, we liked it very much, between very pleasant marine and mineral notes and a mix of malt and citrus, and for this reason we will give it 85/100.
Recommended soundtrack: the voice of the eclectic Scottish poet Ivor Cutler lent to Neil Ardley for his The Dong with a Luminous Nose. A masterpiece, read the text if you can.