Review 664: Port Charlotte 10 Year

In May of this year I was approached by Christy McFarlane from Bruichladdich Distillery with an offer for a sample. It took me a moment and then it clicked: Christy! Yes I remember our previous correspondence vividly.

Last year we started communicating and I can be quite honest (not to say brute some times) in my opinions about whisky and marketing departments (strategies). But Christy is the first (and only) person that reacted very open en positive to this approach. The honesty and her down to earth approach are quite refreshing.

So when she approached me for a sample of the new Port Charlotte I knew there where no expectations other than my honest opinion on the bottle and its contents.

Where other marketing persons/departments are (in my humble opinion) just using bloggers as a cheap marketing channel, Christy just is looking for an opinion. Whether I write about it or not, hate or love it or find it way overpriced. It’s all good to her. How refreshing is that?

So kudos go out to you Christy!

So now back to the purpose of this blog: the liquid!

What they write about it:

This release will become our flagship Port Charlotte. Heavily peated to 40ppm, it has spent its life in first fill American whiskey casks (65%), second fill American whiskey casks (10%) and second fill French wine casks (25%). It is bottled unchilfiltered and colouring free at Bruichladdich Distillery and is 50% abv.

Location:Rinns of Islay
Owner:Rémy Cointreau
Water Source:Bruichladdich loch (mash), burn (cooling) & Octomore spring (bottling)
Stills:2 wash Stills
2 spirit Stills
1 Lomond
Capacity:1,500,000 litre pure alcohol per year

Expression:Port Charlotte 10 year Heavily Peated
Category:Single Malt
Bottled by:Bruichladdich Distillery
Age:10 Year
ABV (% Alc):50%
Non-chill filtered:Yes
Natural colour:Yes
Phenols (smoke):40 ppm on barley
Distillation date:+/-2008
Bottle date:2018
Maturation:First fill American whiskey casks (65%), second fill American whiskey casks (10%) and second fill French wine casks (25%)
Cask number:N/a
Bottle number:N/a
Bottle content:70cl


A rich yet modest, sweet and balanced whisky with aromas of campfire smoke, acacia honey, earthy tones (farm), orange, grapefruit, pear, red apples, hint to medicinal tones ( seaweed, hint to tar, camphor), hay, grass, dried flowers, hint of mineral tones, vanilla, subtle hint of red berries, cedarwood, aniseed, hint of cumin and a nice amount of oaky aromas.

A full, intens rich, mouth coating, sweet and drying whisky with aromas of smoke, medicinal tones (seaweed, iodine, band aids), honey, minneral tones (hint of flint), hay, citrus tones (blood orange, lemon zest, grapefruit peels, hint of tangerine), vanilla, caramel, tannins, hint of fudge, aniseed, black pepper, allspice, ginger, hint of garam marsala, earthy tones (the farm is back) and bitter oak.

A medium to long and slightly drying finish with aromas of peat smoke, grapefruit, honey, backing spices and bitter oak.

The last version of Port Charlotte I tasted (Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 8 Year) was nice but lacked some depth and balance for my palate. But this new version is simply lovely. The depth of flavour, oily texture and balanced smoke make this quite the quaffable dram. For me this proofs my thoughts that heavily peated whisky hits a sweet spot at around 10 year maturation (if you are looking for impact as well as balance).
All in all a very nice and enjoyable Port Charlotte.

Some critical notes:
The new bottle looks fun but has some pouring issues (it leaks, no I was not drunk), next to that: I’m sorry to see that Bruichladdich has chosen a green bottle instead of a clear bottle, I like to see the whisky.

What are your thoughts on the liquid in this bottle?

My rating of this dram: :

I bought it today. Inspired by your recommendation. I had one quick taste and noticed a little taste of “chemical” is that as you discribe it as medicinal?
Have a glass tonight. Can’t wait.