Whisky Sponge Edition 35 heads over to Bruichladdich for a Port Charlotte that’s just about hitting the ceiling of the distillate’s age (only a couple of private casks have been currently been released as 19 year olds). This release has been matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel that produced 197 bottles at 57.1%.
Nose: Oranges and clementines join a real sense of lacticness with yoghurt, cream cheese and motes of damp hay. Peat is wispy with langoustine broth, salted cod and smoked mashed barley whilst wet wool is livened with golden syrup drizzled over freshly baked sponge cake. A wonderfully restrained expressiveness. Dilution opens up leather satchels, oatmeal and wild honey together with increased smoke from log fires.
Taste: The arrival reveals real potency. Bonfire-tinged with paintbrush cleaners, lobster bisque and a touch of cough syrup. Leather seat coverings and aromatic oak are sweetened with smoked salted lemons and fresh ripe peaches. Water offers a more mineral composition with limestone, sea water and a touch of winter mint.
Finish: Long with zesty, zingy lemon and an underlying persistent damp smokiness.
Excellent PC. And indeed, an indication as to where the distillate is heading towards as it enters its 2nd decade. Relaxed and yet potent. Collected, but still not fully tamed. This is a whisky where the underlying profile of spirit is at its best when it’s allowed the space to properly play out its unkempt nature – and here it’s starting to do that in a manner that also has refinement.