Port Charlotte, Islay Barley, Heavily Peated. 50% ABV.
The Port Charlotte, Islay Barley, is a single malt Scotch whisky from the Bruichladdich distillery. Their peated whisky is bottled under either the Port Charlotte or the Octomore name. The peat component of a whisky is measured by the parts per million (PPM) phenol levels. The Octomores are have very high PPM, in the 160-250 range. This Port Charlottle, Islay Barley whisky has a PPM of 40. The barley is from six farms on Islay, all designated on the bottle. It is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 5 years.
On the nose, the smoke is clearly present, but subtle. There are elements of pear, and apple, producing a pleasant smoke-sweet blend. On first sip, the peat comes on initially, but again not overpowering. I find a malty sweetness, appricots mixed with salty elements, maybe salted cashews. On mid palate there is smoke and a tease of cinnamon. The finish is medium, balanced, with the peat smoke mingling with fresh fruit sweetness.
I find myself going back and forth on this whisky. Not from bad to good, more about where I place it in the good range. Generally, when I think of peat, my leanings are more to the slightly higher PPM offerings of Ardbeg or Laphroaig. I may have come to this thinking of an Octomore-light type of offering, and it is not that. But, if I set that notion aside, I find this a very pleasant whisky. Indeed, what makes this a very good dram, is it’s balance, one where no one element dominates. I like the dance between light peat and the natural fruit sweet elements. Another Bruichladdich which I am happy to have in my single malt cabinet.