Innovation: Bruichladdich has been described as ‘a working distillery museum’ but in its hayday, it was one of Islay’s most modern distilleries and today it is one of Scotland’s most innovative. Built in 1881, by the Harvey brothers, like most distilleries at the time its fortunes were largely linked to its blends. After multiple changes of ownership and some major investment, the Bruichladdich Distillery continues today to experiment and innovate. Port Charlotte is Bruichladdich’s heavily peated single malt with a peating level of around 40ppm (parts per million). Port Charlotte is known for being naturally peaty but also has the elegance, complexity and floral notes for which their stills are famous.
Tasting Notes: on the nose: you’ll experience a healthy dose of peat smoke, however, not of the Islay type. This is closely followed by notes of iodine and salted caramel and spices in the form of black pepper and paprika. There are some lovely leathery notes wafting around in there followed by vanilla, plums, poached pears and walnuts. On the palate: there is a rich sweetness, coupled with that smoke initially nosed. That Maritime caramel note is ever-present, followed by vanilla and toasted oats. There is a lovely twist of zest floating around in there, alongside notes of liquorice. The finish: is long, sweet and oaky, with lingering smoky peat.
The verdict: The Bruichladdich Port Charlotte is just one of the many expressions available in this range and as an entry point, it’s perfect. It has all of the notes you’d expect from an Islay scotch whisky but it also has tonnes of depth to back up that big peaty smoke. From nose to palate, it is a very consistent drop that has been very well-balanced. While the ABV percentage is quite high, I suggest you try it neat first, then add water if required.
Info: ABV 50% in a 70cl bottle
Technological Innovation: In 2013, Ressence first released the Type 3, a groundbreaking horological marvel that took the watch world by storm. While it is understandable that its aesthetics are largely a matter of taste, no one could deny its impressiveness in terms of originality and technical innovation. In 2015, Ressence released an updated version of the Type 3.
Starting at the chamber at the front, it houses Ressence’s signature dial with no hands, dubbed the Ressence Orbital Convex System, or in short ROCS. Unconventionally, the dial has no hands and instead uses independently rotating concentric discs to tell the time. The hands and numerals are painted in a fixed position but tells the time as each sub dial rotates at its own specific pace in unison.
The dial chamber of the Type 3 is oil filled, creating a flat sheen to the face making it appear like an electronic screen than a face of a mechanical watch. The oil sits in between the dial and the domed sapphire but it creates an illusion through the way it refracts light, making the dial look like it is pressed right up against the sapphire, making the depth imperceptible.
Nowadays, watch manufacturers just appear to be recycling and regurgitating old ideas but Ressence is taking a bold stand through its originality. Ushering in a new age in horology that most are too reluctant to part take in, Ressence appear to be excelling through their technological innovations.
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