The Islay Barley 2011 is part of Bruichladdich’s heavily peated Port Charlotte line that uses 100% Islay barley. It’s 75% first fill American whiskey casks and 25% second fill syrah and figero wine casks.
As I pour, I notice lots of cling on the side of the glass. The smell of the peat is strong at first. I had let it sit for about 15 minutes while I took photos and that strong peaty smell got a lot more mild. (Or I became a lot more accustomed to it.) There’s a very light hint of lemon. Despite leaving it out, it’s really intense on the palate. The medicinal flavour is present but slight. The ashiness is present but slight. (I expected plenty more ashiness.) There’s a bit of white pepper and brine.
Finally, there’s the barley and nuttiness on the finish. I let it sit on the palate a bit longer and I’m reminded of Arrowroot cookies.
Outside of the initial peaty punch, it’s a bit…disappointing. It’s still decent but didn’t quite reach the same level as the MRC.
Bruichladdich’s notes talk of lemon, peach, and green grapes on the nose. “Some time to open allows notes of lemon drizzle cake,” they say. Which definitely matches what I was noticing.
On the finish, they mention tar and brine, coconut and tobacco. I didn’t notice the tar or the coconut but definitely picked up the brine.
“A dram for summer nights.” Its lightness on the palate has me in agreement.