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.
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.
@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.