Tag Archives: Soot

Port Charlotte 8yr Single Cask – Bottled by the SMWSA – Cask number 127.1

Islay region – 66.5%ABV – $85 (no longer available – only 231 bottles available)

Years ago, my father (now divorced from my mother) did something crazy.  He gave up his apartment, bought a 25′ foot sail boat, rented a spot at a local marina a lived life on the water.

He cracks me up.  He could live in a pick up truck in a parking lot if he had to/wanted to.  This is a man who lives the saying “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”.  What a man!

Back to the boat and marina:

Growing up, I’d see my dad every weekend.  When he lived on the boat I had the great opportunity to experience the ocean air, the beach and a shit ton of dead horse-show crabs, fish, seaweed, etc….  The sights, the smells, the water, it was a great time and I looked forward to every weekend.

Tasting this whisky brought me back to that time in my life; in his life.  I’ve said it before – one of the most beatiful things about whisky is that it can transport to back in time through smell and taste memory.  A wonderful, wonderful thing.

On the noseI’m instantly transported to a hot summer day at the beach by the docks – salt air fills my nose as does engine exhaust (though mild).

Brine and soot abounds.

Sweet vanilla and even some citronella.

Hints of baby sick.

With water: those baby sick/sour milk notes are much more prominent (almost makes me wish we had a little baby in the house again).

A touch soapy now too.

On the mouthLike squeezing a hot pepper and lighting the oil spray on fire.  In my mouth. Sweet fancy Moshe, this is some hot stuff!

An extra tiny sip before I add water unearths some peat smoke and a sooty exhaust pipe (and a dash of sweet  honey & jam).

With water (bringing it down to about 58%ABV): Oof, that’s better!

Berry jam from the start then some cooked butter.

Creamy vanilla and a soft mouth feel (it was tough to tell the mouth feel before… when my mouth was on fire).

FinishLong finish with an odd mix of briny green olives and honey – two layered flavors.

In sumThis one will put hair on your chest or make your boobies bigger (for the ladies out there).  While I’m not sure either is a good thing, my point is that this is some powerful, powerful stuff.  However, it’s right up my alley.  Even though drinking this reminds me of summer days on the shoreline of Connecticut, it’s thoroughly enjoyable in the wintertime and man, do we have a winter here in CT in 2011!!  The snowiest January on record!!

Arran Machrie Moor Peated Malt Whisky (plus a way to win a full bottle for yourself)

Islands Region – 46%ABV – £39 (soon to be released in the US this March, 2011) – Limited to 9,000 bottles for this first release.

I’m going to skip some of the preamble today as I think the most important parts of today’s post is the review (of course) and the details of an exclusive giveaway below!

Special thanks to Andy Hogan for the sample and for working with the JSMWS on this great giveaway!

While I did say I’d be bypassing some of the preamble, that still does imply that there will be a little of it for you to read.  Just what is the story behind Arran’s naming of the Machrie Moor??   Here’s what they tell us:

“On the west coast of the Isle of Arran lies a windswept and mystical peat bog called Machrie Moor. Bronze Age stone circles and standing stones are strewn across its barren, undulating terrain. One of the stone circles is known as Fingal’s Cauldron Seat, where sits a stone with a carved hole. The legendary warrior giant Fingal is said to have tethered his favourite dog Bran to this stone. This peated expression of the Arran Single Malt perfectly captures the rugged beauty and lore of the landscape. Unleash the legend that is Machrie Moor.

Well, roar (or, woof)!!  Let’s try this stuff:

On the nose — Salted & sooty chimney pipe (chim-chimney-chim-chimney-chim-chim-ka-booze).

Root-like vegetables and very grassy.

Perhaps even a little salted fudge – YUM!

After a minute of so, the peat is not as sooty.  Rather, it’s adding a really nice earthy tone to the whisky – sort of like a brackish stream snaking it’s way through a field of wild-flowers.

Additional notes range from lemon zest to shortbread dough (unbaked).

Very salty/coastal nose.

On the mouth — Oh yeah – just the right amount of peat gives a great brush-fire flavor in the mouth.

Baked apples, even apple-sauce.

I can’t shake the feeling of campfire/brushfire out of my head as I sip this.

Very comforting and bringing me to my childhood happy place.

Lemons galore – lemon marmalade and cream custard.

Salted and a touch peppery (just a touch).

Chewy mouthfeel and, as we get into the finish…

Finish — There’s a superb butteriness here, salted butter that creeps up and does not wish to leave you.

Added to that are hints of apricot, warmed margarine and bread.

In sum — I don’t often talk about color or how the whisky looks in the glass (E.G. legs) but I have to say, the legs on this whisky are gorgeous!  A wonder to look at.  For me, I encounter the same wonderment when watching a Guinness form it’s head – that beautiful head!

This whisky has legs and knows how to use them.

A thoroughly enjoyable treat.  Very salty stuff!  I’d imagine chocolates would go wonderfully with this whisky giving you that salty/sweet goodness many of us seek out.

Peated to a level of 14ppm, the folks at Arran knew what they were doing!!  Enough peat to add some dimension to the whisky, enough to give the peat/smoke-heads something to get excited about yet not so much so as to overpower all of the natural beauties of Arran Malt whisky (Apples, butter, lemons & a superb saltiness).  A nice late summer, near dusk type dram.


The fun part – a way for you to win a full bottle of the new Arran Machrie Moor and signed by the Master Distiller – James McTaggart!!

Yes, thats right.  We here at the JSMWS worked closely with Arran and they were kind enough to partner up with us on a very exclusive giveaway.  A full bottle of Arran Machrie Moor peated whisky signed by none other than James McTaggart, Arran’s Distillery Manager!!

“How do I win a bottle!?” you ask.

“Easy.” says all of us at The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society.

We’re looking to reach 1100 followers on our Facebook page.

If you’re already a fan, cool.  You’re currently in the running.

If you’re not yet a fan, click here to join and get in the running.

Do you know someone who loves whisky?  Ask them to join The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society Facebook page.

The quicker we get to 1313 people, the closer we’ll be to announcing, perhaps you, as our winner of this great whisky.  The lucky person will be picked at random and named on the Facebook page.

Welcome to the Facebook group and good luck!!