I've tried a few different Port Charlottes now and have generally been very impressed. This is the latest version of the 10 year old, which looks as if it's going to be a permanent fixture - we shall see . . .
Thanks to @Wierdo for the sample. Review is neat.
Nose - Strong hit of peat and creosote - there are nods to the 'stable' type peat of Ledaig here for me. Some creamy barley and lemons, juice and rind, with some salty/coastal elements.
Taste - Juicy and creamy mouthfeel with a big citrus and creamy barley hit. Ash and smoke as it develops.
Finish - Some mild tannins with the ash and some sherbet lemons hanging in there.
With water - More creosote on the nose and perhaps enticing a little more sweetness from the grain on the palette, but it does the mouthfeel no favours at all. Better neat.
Simply put, it's good, but it's not amazing. It's been a relatively cold and wet day here and the warming peat is welcome for sure but I think I definitely preferred the older (NAS but not really NAS) HP version over this. It all works fine, and the quality is certainly there, but it just seems a little, well, underwhelming and one-dimensional - which could be a plus for some 'big hitting peaters' but not here. Ultimately, I think there are better peated options for less £.
@RianC I think you are spot on with your tasting impressions, but I guess I like that profile a bit more than you and would score it closer to 90 than 85. I just ordered a replacement. Very nice and informative review. Cheers.
Nice review! I thought you might like this one more than you did. I really enjoyed this release like @BlueNote and think it's got its place among the other Islay giants like Ardbeg, Laphroaig 10 and such. The thing about the older HP variants is they could really change based on the vatting used (I've had some stunning almost coal/tarmac peat ones and others that were just ok)