Port Charlotte JUC:01 2009 59.7%

Jurançon Cask Matured Bruichladdich Valinch Release

Somewhere near the middle of the 2020 lockdowns, I was fortunate enough to purchase a few Valinches. If you remember they were entirely closed due to the pandemic and were running online ballots to purchase their distillery-only releases. In a true friend-of-a-friend situation, my own local friend knew they were looking to sell older releases just to make space and that is how I ended up with my very own distillery “handfill” bottle without ever leaving the country.

Jurançon is not a common name and I know nothing of the wine or region in France it comes from. I did find other scotch bottlings (including older Bruichladdich releases) that used Jurançon casks and perhaps there are even more I’m unaware of. For review #100 I wanted to pull out something special and this seemed to fit perfectly.

Tasting Notes

Tasted neat in a Laddie Dram Glass with 30+ minutes of rest. Dilution added throughout the tasting. Comparative tasting in a Glencairn glass on other occasions.

As soon as your pour a glass, the dank peat perfumes throughout the room. While the peat is ever present, the amount of vanillins in the glass is astounding. It’s not like vanilla extract or vanilla bean ice cream. It’s the aroma when you cut into a fresh vanilla bean pod and scrape out the seeds. Intense, rich, and aromatic. Clove, cinnamon, and Star Anise. Odd fruit notes that are difficult to place at times. Gala apples that are not too sweet and slightly oxidizing, baked into a breakfast oatmeal bar. Fresh honeydew melon. Anju pears. Unsweetened dried fruit. The spices and fruits paired well together and reminded me of a wintery cider. Air develops even more sweet scents while water seemed to bring out a dry white wine and oakiness.

The texture instantly captures you. It’s oily and viscous. It clings to your cheek and the roof of your mouth. Cereal grains are the first thing I noticed from the palate. Freshly milled oat flour. A loaf of bread with honey as a sweetener. Smoky smoldering embers cut through with autumn night campfires. I kept getting an herbal note that was enhanced when adding water. Lemongrass, hay, wheat stalks. Along with this herbaceous element is an odd vegetable note. Peppery radishes, grilled asparagus, and brussels sprouts. There’s a capsaicin heat as well, given the proof, that reminds me of a Hot Honey sauce. Water only seems to intensify the heat. Lastly, there’s a distinct copper metallic note with a balancing earthy slate and charcoal/barrel char flavor.

A dry finish evaporates the moisture from your mouth. Slightly overdone caramel, burnt honeycomb, and chargrilled vegetables. The heat has now intensified and it’s as if you didn’t wait for your slice of pizza to cool before eating. Metallic cast iron and copper flavors. Peat smoke and barrel character is all you are left with on the finish. I can’t help but criticize the truly lack of flavor here and it sours the dram a bit for me. It’s rather short, so you don’t get much time to explore what little flavor there is. Water did certainly help, bringing more raw honeycomb forward.


This was wild and weird. The nose is intensely sweet. The palate, herbal. And the finish brings home the smoky element, reminding you this is an Islay scotch.

I never thought I would find vegetable notes in a scotch but it’s there and I can’t untaste it. I make a recipe often for grilled brussels sprouts in my cast iron pan and it just gave me an intense reminder of that dish. It’s the charred browned portion that I taste here in this whisky.

The flavors don’t harmonize at all times, however. The disconnect from the nose to the palate is definitely interesting. They certainly bring out odd characteristics of both the malt and the wine cask. But, this is a fun whisky in the end and I’m fortunate to have a good friend who bought it on my behalf.