Bruichladdich distillery on Islay and the Port Charlotte brand have always been a go to whisky for me. They say the spirit is heavily peated and at 40ppm it is. However, the finished product is always fairly mellow and the peat restrained. That is not to say it is insipid or uninspiring only different. And different is good.
This single cask offering under the Master of Malt own brand was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2016. Port Charlotte was first distilled in 2001 so this is some of the first Port Charlotte ever made this century. The usual rules on presentation apply with no colouring, filtering or water added. A bottle cost £121 but it looks to be sold out now. So not cheap however, the spirit tax wouldn’t have been cheap with a bottling strength of 60.9% ABV.
Colour – Barley water
Nose – The nose is wonderful there are lots of sweet honey and vanilla notes then heather’d peat smoke, smoky bacon crisps and banana bread.
Palate – The undiluted experience is not as fiery as you might worry about however a splash of water brings out the peat. Something quite common in Port Charlotte I find. There is also quite a lot of exotic fruit notes of passionfruit and guava. A touch of cinnamon and lemon oil round things off.
Finish – More of the exotic fruits linger on a long finish. There is more vanilla and honey but it is mixed around an earthy note from the peat. There is also a fizzy sweets note which bubbles on
I really really liked this whisky it was fantastic. Full of character and interest while not being aggressive or jarring. Sometimes, you need the magic and experience of a blender to marry together a host of casks to get a finish product. Other times the cask manages to come up with all the angles on its own. This is one of those casks and someone did a great job to find it. The price was always off putting for me and I am only disappointed I didn’t buy a whole bottle now while I had the chance. These may well appear at auction so one to keep an eye out on. Unless I am bidding against you!