Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon First Fill and Refill, ex-French Wine Refill
Added coloring: No
Owner: Bruichladdich (Rèmy Cointreau)
Average price: € 82.00
Official website: www.bruichladdich.com
Like Kilchoman (and even more than Kilchoman), Bruichladdich is a distillery that places a strong emphasis on the territory, on the origin and local processing of its spirits, with a constant search for (and enhancement of) the singularity of production.
Each of its lines fully expresses this philosophy, which exalts the peaty characterisation of Islay in many of its incarnations, which, if in the Octomore label reaches its peak, in Port Charlotte sees a more accessible version, at least for the wallet.
The pride of being an islander oozes out of every bottle, and with all the work and effort put in by an all-too-small company, it is well deserved.
In their words, “This Port Charlotte 10yo was conceived, distilled, aged and bottled only on Islay. We are a young team with deep-rooted values and an ambition to create the ultimate Islay whisky. A whisky created by people and not by software; a whisky cared for every single day of its ageing by those who created it; a whisky born of a community with a vision and a mission: to spark a revolution in single malts. This Port Charlotte 10yo represents who we are and where we come from.”
Clear, right? And woe betide them…
Launched in 2018, this line features a whisky with a 40ppm peat level, aged 65% in ex-Bourbon first-fill, 10% second-fill and 25% in ex-French wine (unspecified) second-fill casks.
Light gold in the glass.
On the nose the peat is unusually delicate, a puff of smoke accompanying a fruity profile (sultanas, plums) with pepper and candied orange, all on a breath of sea breeze. Very fresh.
Quoting a well-known philosopher, “It’s a trap!”: at the mouth, the peat explodes on the palate, fleshy and succulent, with an important alcoholic thrust that increases its roar, revealing the muscular soul of the whisky. But this is only the beginning, because the frontal assault soon uncovers citrus fruits, plums, banana, cinnamon and lively oceanic and saline flushes, well integrated with the embers that continue to burn throughout the drink. A nice sprinkling of pepper on top of everything, in a tasting that is not at all boring and layered, very warming.
The finish is quite long, of salt, smoke, orange and cinnamon.
An example of peat that is energetic but not overbearing like other Islay compatriots, capable of accompanying the remaining suggestions without covering or being forgotten. At times the alcohol content can be intrusive, just on the edge, but this is extremely subjective.