Port Charlotte – 10 Year Old – Heavily Peated – Review

Welcome to my new whisky blog. I have spent the past few years exploring the vibrant world of craft beer and recently have come to discover a great love of peated scotch. This blog is to be a chronicle of my journey to find and enjoy as many smoky peaty whiskey’s as I am able.

Today I would like to start with the Port Charlotte – 10 Year Old – Heavily Peated. I just got this bottle the other day, my first online order. The other bottle that came to my house on that fine day with this one is the Kilchoman Machir Bay 2013 and that lovely dram will hopefully be the second review I do here.

Oh sweet Port Charlotte, you don’t even truly exist yet, but after tasting this bottle I was thinking of you. This is one tasty balanced whisky. Yumm. I think for twenty four hours after drinking this for the first time that word “Yumm” kept popping into my brain. Funny how a whisky can capture your entire imagination. You yearn for the chance to again explore those complex flavors and glean some further insights.

Port Charlotte – 10 Year Old – Heavily Peated | 46% abv (92 Proof), $59.99/bottle (Here)

Color/Appearance: Golden, Amber, Warm. Really don’t care that much about appearance but this is a look that almost all whiskies probably desire. Knowing that no carmel colorant was used makes it all that much more impressive. In the glass this has the added beauty of some nice legs and a few slight visual clues to the wonderful mouthfeel that this whisky has.

Port-Charlotte_10_Year_Old_Heavily_Peated_Scotch_Whisky

Nose: Ah, the wonderful phenolic blast of earthy peat paired oh so elegantly with a swirl of campfire, then a sweet hint of sherry comes in with its rich plummy notes. Soft feeling here in the nose. Each breath slightly different as you pick up stronger hints of certain smells before they smooth back into the alluring overall picture.

Palate: A smooth rush of earthy peat, followed by a warming glow of rosé, caramel toffee, slipping into a smoky syrupy mouthfeel.

Finish: Aftertaste for days. Just looking at that bottle became an obsession for the first few days, reliving the taste in my mind. Though in sessions with some of the other powerhouses of Islay it’s finish doesn’t linger as long as they.

Overall: This is such a mature and complex dram that sometimes it seems strange to compare it to other Islay 10 year bottles. It has a soft elegant and balanced profile that belies its young age. Though still medicinal and smoky its other charms give it a depth that few other ten year Islay whiskies can claim. Here we see Bruichladdich’s pedigree and signature style in a new more peaty tint, and I like it. Maybe some of the other peated whiskies pack more of a payload of peat but this sacrifices some of that brute force for some additional aspects that leaves a more mature nuanced overall feeling with those lucky enough to imbibe a bottle of this fine whisky. My negative takeaway is only one of dreaming, where this profile is knocked up a notch and released at cask strength.

Rating: 9.1

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3 thoughts on “Port Charlotte – 10 Year Old – Heavily Peated – Review

  1. Welcome aboard the peat train. I recently picked up a bottle of this. I found it underwhelming at first, but it didn’t take long to open up and now I’m really starting to appreciate it. A nice addition to the Bruichladdich stable.

    • Getting this particular bottle was sort of a last minute decision but one that I quickly came to appreciate. I would love to know what bottles you would suggest to have in my early exploration?

      • Given that you’ve gone down the Ardbeg rabbit hole, you’re probably past the early exploration! I could also recommend the Ledaig 10-year, which is certainly not a “Peat Monster” but has a lot going on. A personal favorite of mine is Bowmore 15 Darkest. If you haven’t tried it, there are a lot of online reviews about it to guide you, but I think it’s great, though quite different.

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