Thursday, November 8, 2007

LA gets PC

After over a year of waiting, PC5 has come to LA.

What is PC5?

It's not a new brand of personal computers.
It's not the latest theory of political correctness.
It's not a previously undiscovered album by jazz bassist Paul Chambers.

To Scotch fans, PC5 is Bruichladdich's much heralded 5 year old, cask strength Port Charlotte single malt (notice how I avoided the "w" word?)...and it has finally come to LA.

Like many distilleries, Bruichladdich faced economic trouble in the 1980s and '90s and actually closed its doors in 1995. But unlike other distilleries, the Laddie, as it's known, was reopened under new ownership in 2001. The fiercely independent Jim McEwan was named production director, and the distillery has been a huge success story ever since with a reputation for innovation.

Released in 2006, PC5 is the first bottling of a Scotch distilled under the new ownership. PC stands for Port Charlotte, a long-shuttered Islay distillery which the new bottling claims as its model.

When PC5 was released last year, it sold like hotcakes across the UK and Europe. The brash, highly peated five year old flew in the face of Bruichladdich's traditional flavor profile of low-smoke, non-peated malts.

Now, more than a year after its European release, a small number of bottles have made their way to the US. They were supposed to come in May, but none showed up, and I've been hunting for them high and low since then.

I finally found some PC5 at the always reliable Wine & Liquor Depot in Van Nuys. They told me they had about ten bottles and they are going for $120 a pop.

Is a five year old Scotch worth $120? I'll let you know as soon as I try it, but if you know someone who's a Scotch fanatic or a big fan of smoky malts, it would make a fine holiday gift.

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