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Port Charlotte Scottish Barley Heavily Peated

Oh, for Peat's Sake

1 295

@talexanderReview by @talexander

2nd Dec 2014


Port Charlotte Scottish Barley Heavily Peated
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I'm sure I've used that title before...Anyway, those of you who know me know I have a lot of issues with Bruichladdich. However, being a bit of a peat-head, I've enjoyed their Octomore and especially their Port Charlotte expressions. Named after a nearby village, Port Charlotte is the "heavily peated" variant of Bruichladdich (what does that make Octomore, the "ass-kicking bully" variant?). Peated to 40ppm and bottled using spring water from nearby Octomore Farm, the style is said to harken back to the times when two brothers, Robert Williams and John Gourlay Harvey, built the distillery in 1881 and ran it until just before WWII. It is non-coloured and non-chill-filtered, and is made from 100% Scottish barley.

The colour is a pale gold. On the nose, smoky and briny, with lots of juicy barley sugar. Lemon meringue. Fruity with kiwi and green banana. The smoke is like from a dusty, long-spent ashtray, but in a good way! Anise and cardamom. Very complex, nicely balanced. The smoke never overwhelms despite the high peating. A drop of water brings the peat before the smoke (yes, there is a difference and you can study that with this malt). Fantastic.

On the palate it starts off almost buttery, then becomes mouth-drying as the peat becomes apparent. That lemon has now turned to pithy zest with vanilla, sage and biscuits, with the peat winding its way through everything. Mouth-warming and delicious, especially with water which turns up the volume on everything.

The finish fills your mouth with citrus, gentle sweet smoke and more herbal tea notes such as cardamom and hibiscus. This is wonderful, bracing stuff, perfect on a cold snowy day like today. On the highly pretentious Bruichladdich website you can watch a short video of everyone who works at the distillery falling all over themselves praising this whisky. I don't blame them, but McEwan says it best when he calls it "Islay in a glass." Jim Murray scores this a 94.5.

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Benancio commented

@talexander. I'm On travel here in Florida. I just picked up a bottle bruichladdich port charlotte scottish barley heavily peat based on your review. I thought $60 was a reasonable price to pay. I've had a bottle of the 10y and An Turas Mor, both were great scotches. I'm looking forward to getting back and pouring a dram.

Thx for the review.

9 years ago 0

talexander commented

Well, I hope you like it - if you don't, I'm going to feel guilty about it!! Well, not really...

9 years ago 0