For those who enjoy the smell of a good log and peat fire or bonfire, this is for you. It’s bottled at 50% abv and is natural color with no chill-filtering. Of course, Port Charlotte is made in the same distillery but this is the peated version of Bruichladdich with a different name to differentiate the style and well worth a try if you’re not familiar with it. The peat level is a hefty 40ppm which puts it in between Laphroaig and Ardbeg.
Contributing Editor Caroline Dewar's Tasting Notes: Port Charlotte Scottich Barley Heavily Peated Islay Single Malt
Appearance: Pale gold with creamy and silver glints. A field of barley just ripening.
Nose: Smoke, peat, earthiness, sea air; a hint of nuttiness and stewed sticky fruit. A touch of caramelisation from oak char, a mildly acrid note; toasted cereal and, if left out a while, slightly sweaty socks! With water – more creaminess and slight oak vanilla; sea shore and iodine; more oak char, candied peel and toffee / barley sugar.
Palate: Smoke, peat, pepper. It actually feels spritzy on the tongue or “petillant”, as our French wine cousins might say. There are roasted nuts and cereals, some oak char and a waft of oak vanilla.
Finish: Long, smoky and toasty, warming, dry. A slight bitter nut aftertaste.
Master Distiller Jim McEwan's Tasting Notes:
CHARACTER: MEDIUM WEIGHT WITH A TEXTURE THAT IS SMOOTH, STRONG AND SMOKEY. THIS IS A SPIRIT WITH FIRE IN ITS SOUL AND WARMTH IN ITS HEART.
COLOR: BRONZED MAHOGANY.
NOSE: THE SHERRY & PEAT ARE THE FIRST TO RISE; THEY WARM & SEDUCE THE SENSES INTO AN ISLAY FRAME OF MIND WITH LITTLE SLIPSTREAMS OF LEMON PEEL, BLACK PEPPER, EUCALYPTUS, CINNAMON, HEATHER AND MINT - ALL BEING CARESSED & COOLED BY THE ATLANTIC COASTAL NOTES WHICH MERGE BEAUTI- FULLY WITH THE EARTHY FLORA & FAUNA AROMATICS OF THE PEAT MOORS, HEATHS AND WOODLANDS OF THIS SPECIAL PLACE.
PALATE: SLOWLY THE COMBINATION OF BOTH BOURBON AND SHERRY WOOD ARRIVES IN AN UNHURRIED WAVE OF STICKY DATES, MELLOW OLOROSO, CHOCOLATE ORANGE, SMOKED MALT, ROASTED WALNUTS & DARK TOFFEE. AT THIS POINT THE PALATE SURRENDERS TO SEDUCTION BY THE MOST HANDSOME SPIRIT IT HAS EVER ENCOUNTERED.
FINISH: AS YOU NEAR YOUR JOURNEY’S END, YOU WILL NOTICE THERE IS A SUBTLE CHANGE IN THE FLAVOUR AS THE AMERICAN BOURBON WOOD SUNSETS THE EXPERIENCE WITH A BRILLIANT FLASH OF SPANISH FLAIR - DARK, PASSIONATE, SWEET AND DESIRABLE.