Two recent Port Charlottes

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Port Charlotte is initially a whisky I didn’t like so much, but it grew on me quite fast, and now I have 3 open bottles of the stuff. The two I’m tasting here are the 2nd release of the 10 year old which was recently released along with a 10 year old Bruichladdich and a 10 year old Octomore, their unpeated and super-heavily peated labels respectively. It was aged in quite a variety of casks, first-fill bourbon, sherry, tempranillo and french wine, but that is kind of Bruichladdich’s thing.

The second bottle is a little more odd. It’s a “duty free exclusive” bottling which has been matured for it’s entire 8 year maturation in french oak casks which previously held “One of ther greatest French Eau de Vie from the Western Cognac region”. Cognac casks are quite a rare thing which would usually pique my interest, but I actually discovered this bottle by chance. I was at the distillery last July and got to try some (along with pretty much everything else they had at the time) and was really blown away by how different it was from the usual Port Charlotte profile. Sadly my luggage was already overloaded so I couldn’t come back with any. Needless to say I made it a bit of a mission to track a bottle down.


Port Charlotte 10 – 2nd Edition

Aged 10 years. 50% ABV. Matured in first-fill bourbon, sherry, tempranillo and french wine casks. No colourant added and non-chill filtered. 

Nose: Grassy peat. Straw. White grape juice. Lemon zest. Brine with a very very slight note of smoked kippers. Tar. Creamy vanilla. Honey. Pears. Very slight woodspice.

Palate: Ash. Milk tart. Light wood. Wood tannins. Cinnamon. Sandalwood. Apples and pears. Brine.

Finish: Long. Green apples. Ash. Wood smoke. Schweppes dry lemon. Kippers.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

This is a really solid expression. It has all the Port Charlotte hallmarks, with a few interesting layers added by the various cask types. The higher ABV really just ties everything together by giving it a nice, thick, oily texture.


Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01

Aged 8 years. 57.8% ABV. Matured in cognac casks. No colourant added non-chill filtered and bottled at batch strength. 

Nose: Quite farmy peat. Quite green, grass, sage, unfermented olives. Ash with a slightly lactic caramel note mixed in. Shoe polish. Lemon curd. Pie crusts. Ginger.

Palate: Typical Port Charlotte sweet peat and lactic caramel at first, but then a huge hit of drying wood and spices like cloves, pepper and cinnamon. Acacia sap. Shoe polish.

Finish: Long. Dry wood tannins. Big spicy flair, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and gingerbread. Waxy citrus peels.  Germolene towards the end.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

Just like when I first tried this, I found it to be quite a deviation from the usual Port Charlotte range. It’s quite a bit drier and has some really big spice notes to it. A very impressive dram in its own right.

 

 

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