I do sincerely apologize for my lack of posts of late; there have been a great deal of changes in my life of late. But, to honor those changes, I thought I would do a review of a whisky from a distillery that is constantly changing – Bruichladdich. I have tried a great many whiskies from this distillery, all of which are different and unique. Bruichladdich has always been a distillery known for its shifting expressions, and its use of peat in varying degrees.
Today, I am reviewing Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, a whisky with no-age-statement, bottled at 100 proof (50% abv) without any chill-filtration. The Port Charlotte lineup is a series of whiskies comprised of peated Bruichladdich stocks. Port Charlotte is peated from the inland peat of Islay, a contrast to the low seaside peat of Laphroaig, Ardbeg, and Lagavulin. This leads to a slightly different flavor profile, with the Port Charlotte being a drier peat and the coastal peat being a wetter peat. The Port Charlotte expressions tend towards a dry, woodier smoke, as opposed to the damp, medicinal smoke of the southern Islay distilleries, such as Laphroaig and Lagavulin.
The nose on this Port Charlotte expression is an earthy, dry peat, with notes of malt, burning leaves, brine, sea salt, and perfume. The palate is soft and elegant, belying the youth of the whisky. There are notes of honey, heather, hay, vanilla, peat, and burning wood. The finish is short for a peated Islay whisky, whispering burning wood, honey, and barbecue smoke on the back of the tongue.
Overall, this is a delicious, young peated malt. I love the character of the peat, and the balance of the whisky as a whole. It is complex, balanced, and full-flavored. This is a great introduction to Bruichladdich peat and the Port Charlotte range. My grade: B+/A-. Price: $60-70/750ml. This is a little pricey for its age, but this is surely a wonderful peated single malt.