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Port Charlotte PC8 Ar Duthchas

Bold strokes of Islay

0 587

@PandemoniumReview by @Pandemonium

14th Nov 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Time to re-taste an old classic from the Bruichladdich stable, this was the second Port Charlotte I ever had. Last time I tried it back in 2012, I was relatively new to single malt whisky and thanks to a few good reviews I bought a 10cl sample. Looking back, the PC8 has become somewhat of a cult classic. Some even call it the best Port Charlotte release.

Nose: It has that dusty scent of an old grainery, like a malting floor with fermenting barley, with soft notes of linseed, iodine and peat smoke seeping through.

Mouth: The same powerful attack that you would expect from an Octomore. Briny on the body with a rain of hot ash and soot on the palate. A touch of mint and ginger in the underlying layer.

Finish: Takes some time to kick in, but is long and satisfying. Soft notes of liquorice and salty lemon, with some wood polish, and peat & tar in the tail.

The verdict: It took me right back to the shores of Islay, to the smoking kilns of Laphroaig where I got a taste of the peat smoked barley. Overall this is not a complex whisky, but it paints the story of Islay in bold strokes. Throughout the distillation and maturation process little to no new flavours were added. The nose says it all: barley, smoke and peat, all this whisky needed to be splendid. Thumbs up.

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Ol_Jas commented

"Briny on the body with a rain of hot ash and soot on the palate." Well put and very attractive sounding.

It sounds like you've had Octomore too. How close do you think these old cask strength "PC" releases come to the power of Octomore?

I've liked the 46-50% Port Charlottes I've had, and I'm looking forward to opening my stashed bottle of PC7 one day. I often wonder if the Octomores are worth pursuing.

8 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

Thanks, I'm no expert here, thus far I've only had The Peat Project, PC7, PC8 and PC10 from Port Charlotte and the 5.1 and 6.1 from Octomore. The early PC's were much more powerful due to their young age and high percentage of ABV. So in a way it is only natural that they share similar profiles as the Octomores. The Octomore 6.1 was nothing like its younger brother the 5.1, my tasting notes from that one are pretty similar to what one would expect from a Port Charlotte.

The 5.1 was a true epiphany, a straight punch in the nose, an iron fist in a velvet glove. After that the 6.1 was a true letdown, but I hear the new 6.3 is a worthy successor of the 5yo series.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

87 isn't very high to me. I guess this one is not all it's cracked up to be. Maybe that's why it can still be had from Binny's. I have a bottle salted away. I won't get my hopes up now. I regret not getting the PC10 full strength. That was a rare bird, I guess. Not many reviews of that one. I suspect it must have been just magnificent.

8 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

@rigmorole my scoring system: <75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs 75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it 80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level SM 85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet 90-94: excellence in a bottle, buy alert on green, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle 95-99: divinity: call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house.

One more thing I would like to add here: the bottle of PC8 here had probably been open for more than 6 months, thus it lost some of its peatiness. Two years ago I would probably have given this a 89 or 90.

8 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

87 is high to me.

To boil down @Pandemonium's comments and personalize them, it sounds like early PCs are similar to the best Octomores, so if I have a PC7 socked away under the bar, I need not worry too much about forgoing the Octomores.


8 years ago 0

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