Port Charlotte will be an "Ardbeg version" of Bruichladdich and will be a great distillery.(the moderately peated version (40 ppm) of Bruichladdich)
Octomore is so heavily peated that will be an intersesting issue.
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The first destillation took place in October 2002 - and it won't be bottled until Jim McEwan says it's done, but no earlier than after eight years. So we'll have to wait for at least 2010 to see it - and than mainly only at the homes of those who've bought a case on beforehand.
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With a phenol level of approx 80ppm, it will be interesting to see how the spirit & the wood combine to introduce other characteristics to offset the peat.
Let's all remember to discuss this in 2010!
Will the Port Charlotte differ from regular Laddie simply by introducing more heavily peated malt? Or are they re-configuring the stills (do they have a rectifier?) in order to produce a heavier spirit? Perhaps they have identified a different wood regime for the maturatin?
He says it will be a force to reckon with, but will be very much drinkable for peatophiles. I trust his thoughts, as he is yet to be wrong. I guess we will find out in about 8-10 more years.
As for what the point is... that's a good question. I got the impression McEwan [might] be making a statement. Perhaps the statement is that Bruichladdich as we know using Islay standards is subtle. But only because it's meant to be that way, not because the formula and staffs thinking can't be cranked up for "peats" sake.
Another thing that comes to mind that seemed to have rubbed him pretty good was that ludicrous statement or outburst that was put out which went something along the lines of if distillery A (on Islay) and distillery B (in Speyside) use the same recipe, then the region was irrelevant as to the whisky's outcome upon bottling. If this Octomore turns out right, I don't think the genius who came up with that concept will be able to safely argue that the same product could be manufactured in the heart of Speyside.
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