“An Turas Mor” means “end of the journey” or something along those lines in Scots Gaelic and was one of Bruichladdich’s releases leading up to the long awaited release of the regular 10 yo in their heavily peated Port Charlotte line. I have a sample of that new Port Charlotte 10 on my shelves and a review of that will likely appear soon as well.
This was opened a few months ago for one of our local group’s monthly tastings–it then sat at the half-full mark for a few months before being featured again in our tasting for March. On both occasions it was the fourth of four malts tasted and followed another less aggressively peated malt. I was interested to see how our group–which tastes everything blind–would rate it right after opening and then after it had sat a while. As it happens, as a group we were all over the map. One cluster rated it about the same on both occasions. Another cluster rated it much higher on the first occasion than on the second. And a third and smaller cluster had it slightly higher on the second occasion. Its aggregate score dipped a few points on the second occasion. I myself had it slightly higher on the first occasion than on the second, finding the palate and finish to have lost a little oomph. It is, however, the case that I am the only one in the group who does not taste blind and so I knew I was drinking the second, “oxidized” half of the bottle.
Anyway, these notes were taken from the second half of the bottle.
Port Charlotte “An Turas Mor” (46%; from my own bottle)
Nose: Peated lemons with a faint gasoline edge. A little butyric (sour milk) and just a tiny bit soapy. Some muskier fruit too and some floral notes. After a while there’s some buttery, creamy vanilla. The smoke expands with time and mixes with the sweeter fruit. With even more time the lemon comes back. Hmm a few drops of water seem to bring the soap back.
Palate: Less lemony on the palate and more sooty and minerally (wet stones). Neither the butryic nor the soapy notes are apparent and the fruity and floral notes are muted too. With time there’s some vanilla sweetness. On the second and third sip I get more salt and, alas, some of that soap. Water doesn’t emphasize the soap on the palate but it does seem to make the smoke expand and become more acrid.
Finish: Medium-long. Ashy and a little acidic. The ash lingers long after the acid is gone. After a while the salt hangs around too. The finish becomes rounder with water and the lemon begins to hang around now too.
Comments: As I noted, I liked it more when the bottle was first opened, but, the soap aside, this is not bad either–especially on the nose (once the butyric and soapy notes depart). However, if it were the regular release I’d see no reason to buy it over the Caol Ila 12 or the Laphroaig and Ardbeg 10s. And I felt that way even when the bottle was fresh. I’ll be interested to see how the Port Charlotte 10 compares.
Rating: 83 points.