Review – Port Charlotte 10 year old

It has been over three years since I last reviewed an official Bruichladdich. That is indeed a long time considering it is a dram that I have always enjoyed. There have been a few Indies that I have looked at recently but no official distillery expressions.

Time to rectify that.

Sort of.

It might not carry the Bruichladdich name but it is the heavily peated product of the same distillery so that counts, right?

Two miles from the Bruichladdich distillery lies the village of Port Charlotte, from where this dram gets its name. The Lochindaal Distillery was in operation here from the 1820’s until the 1920’s and was indeed called Port Charlotte distillery for a short time at its inception.

The new Port Charlotte spirit first ran through the Bruichladdich stills way back in 2001 and has been released as several different expressions over the years.

This 10 year old also boasts a new look for the brand as it emerges from its former Bruichladdich-esque bottle style.

This 10 year old single malt is a combination of whiskies matured in 1st and 2nd fill American whisky casks as well as 2nd fill French wine casks. It is bottled at a punchy 50% abv, is colouring free and NCF (non-chill filtered).

As ever there is a massive amount of information on the Bruichladdich website.

 

 

Port Charlotte, OB, 10 y.o, 50%abv (from my collection)

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The nose is medicinal, punchy and ashy with big maritime and citrus undercurrents. There is a subtle sweetness here too with a little burnt orange, a handful of nuts, charcuterie and some red fruits. A heady mixture indeed.

The palate remains true to the nose with the peaty ashes remaining massively prevalent, cutting through the smoke however brings us some earthy molasses and a BBQ tang within its oily and thick mouthfeel. This is really oily, wonderful stuff. There are hints of damp wood and more full on sea spray amidst some cereal notes as it fully coats and then dries the mouth.

There is a definite shift from savoury to sweet as we arrive at the finish. Fudge and apricots mix with a little wet paper, pencil wood and distant tropical fruit juices, all the time with the lingering ash presence.

 

Design-wise the bottle is fabulously heavy and chunky, it is a pleasure to pour from. If I am to be honest it is far from the most important aspect, but all these details add up to a fantastic and enjoyable drinking experience.

Controversial but I am going to suggest this is right up there with the best whisky that Islay produces. Not to mention that £50 is damn decent value for such a dram. I’ll be buying anther as soon as this is finished.

I bought mine from The Whisky Exchange.

You can find more of my tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.

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