Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008

Review 2017-006 «Specifics» Single malt • Islay Barley • Bottled in 2014 • 50% Alcoholl • Matured for ±6 years in a combination of undisclosed casks • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Bruichladdich (owned by Rémy Cointreau) • Rhinns of Islay • Scotland • Limited availability (undisclosed number of bottles) • Widely available (price ±€56) • Whiskybase #73189

STORY. After tasting some unpeated Bruichladdich Laddies, we now go for the peated ones. Port Charlotte, as they named it after the former distillery that operated between 1829 and 1929 in the village of the same name, is peated to 40 ppm. Harvested in September 2008 from the farms at Coull, Kynagarry, Island, Rockside, Starchmill & Sunderland, peated to 40 PPM, according to their information. All the farms are located on Islay, which makes this a “local barley” Port Charlotte (where did we hear that before?), apparently a first for this island. Or as they call it: “A true Ileach”. Furthermore, they describe its character as quote “Totally disarming considering the age of the spirit. It opens with bracken and bluebells”. Well, leaves me utterly bewildered by the instructions…



APPEARANCE. Transparent and honest design, colour of the contents is pale yellow and has its natural colour.

NOSE. At first there is smoke, then a second sniff delivers notes of malted barley. It is fresh, sweet and mineral. There are sea water and creamy butter, vanilla and custard. (water) The smoke becomes more integrated. Coal which is mingled with a touch of citrus. More waves of sea water, brine, minerals, while it stays very creamy with salted diary butter.

TASTE. This opens very ashy, which is followed by lime, barley, hay, and (again) butter and custard. Shortly, a mix of peat smoke and barley butter arrive at the party. (water) The peat integrates nicely with the barley, butter and custard. A few added drops of lime, and some pencil shavings are added. Then a smokey finish.

VERDICT. The base of this single malt is beautiful, especially when water is added, the smoke and creaminess integrate completely. Slightly basic, and lacking some depth and character. Otherwise a good way to taste the basics of this distillate.

Recommended for people that search for the distillery’s character according to the master blender himself.

Sample purchased from Whiskyhuis.be.

What others say

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 84.66 (181 votes)
  • @Thewhiskyjug.com: “Absolutely flawless construction and balance. Young, confident, zesty and absolutely delightful, the texture is smooth, succulent and stimulating” Score: 88/100
  • Ruben @Whiskynotes.be: “I’m personally not very fond of this one. It seems less focused and less powerful than its Octomore sister and the herbal bitter side is quite loud” Score: 85/100
  • @Whiskygospel.com: “What’s a lovely Port Charlotte!”
  • @Tastydram.be: “Young but with a surprising complexity for just six years old”
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