A First Growth-Aged Cask from Bruichladdich: 2010 Port Charlotte “MRC:01” – Scotch Whisky News

A Unique, Cask Strength Single Malt Powerhouse Aged in Bordeaux Barrels
2010 Port Charlotte “MRC:01” First Growth Bordeaux Barrel Aged Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)
“Goodness gracious—this is a hell of an Islay whisky.” — Andrew Whiteley, K&L NorCal Spirits Buyer

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It seems Bruichladdich can do no wrong of late and that certainly holds true for their 2010 Port Charlotte “MRC:01” release. This cask strength powerhouse has it all going on. It is an Islay malt that’s spent time in a combination of American whiskey and French wine casks that is then finished for a year in barrels from Bordeaux. This heavily peated monster delivers on a multitude of levels, offering one of the most complex and engaging whiskies we’ve tasted this year. A lesser malt might be dwarfed by such a regimen, but this colossus strides confidently from one strength to the next. Previous allocations of this blockbuster were very limited, but recently we acquired a parcel sizable enough to feature it here. This is a bottling no whiskey collector will want to miss, as it shows with perfect clarity the prodigious talents of head distiller Adam Hannett. We expect once word gets around our allocation will disappear quickly, so you’ll want to move quickly to add this singular Islay to your collection.

2010 Port Charlotte “MRC:01” First Growth Bordeaux Barrel Aged Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

Bottled at cask strength of 59.2% alcohol and distilled from 100% Scottish barley sourced from the Invernesshire region, this vintage heavily-peated malt spirit is aged initially in first fill American whiskey casks and second fill French wine casks. These component parts have been combined and matured for an extra year in the casks sourced from one of the Left Bank’s wine producers. The resulting powerhouse is an absolute rocket. The powerfully sweet malt and dense textured peat play wonders against the deep red fruit and spice coming from the top-tier French oak. Add the cask strength nature of this special release and you’ve got one of the most exciting Bruichladdich releases in years.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: July 14, 2020

Goodness gracious—this is a hell of an Islay whisky. Adam Hannett has knocked the ball out of the park, off the island, and into the sea with this one. Typically I’m not a huge fan of red wine cask whiskies, but there have been a few releases over the years that have caught the attention of my palate. I had a sneak peak at this beauty when wandering the warehouse with Mr. Hannett back in the spring of 2018. There is a veritable treasure trove of casks from Bordeaux’s top producers hiding mere feet from the edge of Loch Indaal. These casks represent the first time I’ve been truly excited for red wine-finished whiskies to come to market. While the MRC:01 first hit shelves in the US last year, we only received a minuscule amount of product at that time. The peculiarities of different markets has somehow meant that a sizable portion of this rare release has found its way to CA in the middle of 2020. Finally some good news for the year! The peat is intense—the nose smells like you’re walking through the rubble of a burned down malting facility combined with a BBQ pitmaster’s best cherrywood-smoked brisket. Add to that the salt air of Islay, dazzlingly deep ruby red fruits courtesy of MRC’s finest Bordeaux, and you have a complex powerhouse. The all Scottish barley stands up strong against all this peat and wine. It’s easy to see how a lesser malt would simply be lost here, but at the generous ABV of 59.2% everything lines up just right. Whether it’s Bruichladdich itself, Islay in general, wine finished whiskies, or all of the above that you love, this bottling is not to be missed by any aficionado or collector.

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