Bottler: original bottling
Age: 10 years
Casks: Ex-bourbon, sherry, Tempranillo, French wine
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
After kicking off the “24 drams till christmas” series with the new and improved Laddie Ten, it’s about time to take a look at the new 10-year-old heavily peated Port Charlotte as well!
Colour: reddish gold
The nose is… ah so familiar! The gentle side of the Islay peat monsters – if those peat monsters can be gentle, that is. A huge hit of peat smoke on first nosing, but more on the peat campfire side, rather than the phenolic south-coast Islay drams. But there’s much more than just peat and I like how this is not slaughtered by overly active casks. Lurking behind the peat we’ve got sweet dark fruits (the odd fig and plum come to mind), light vanilla, toffee, dry red wine, grape seeds, aniseed, cloves, one single mint leaf, caramel candy, a mineral note and a pinch of salt (wet stones on the shore, perhaps?). Lots and lots going on, a very tight mixture of very subtle notes. I’ve never tried the old PC 10, so no comparison to that, but it noses slightly different and more multi-faceted than some other editions I’ve tried. Less in-your-face, more lighter, subtle characteristics.The palate is along the same lines. Not too smoky on the arrival, the fragrant peat smoke is rather subdued (but still noticeable). Slightly dry, yet still mouth-coating. Not as oily as previous laddies and rather elegant. Slight vanilla sweetness, fruits (figs and plums, red apples), dark fruit sweetness (plum fruit spread?), dry yet grapy-sweet red wine, sweet dark chocolate, cherry-flavoured pipe tobacco, mulled wine spice mix, Werther’s Original, a mineral note and a light hint of oak. Again, I like how this is not overdone in one direction or another, a rather elegant dram with loads of little things going on. The long finish glides down very gently – but not without a lot of peat smoke, of course. Once again, not as oily as previous PCs I’ve hade, more on the dry side, yet still with fruits, spices and a hint of oak. Lingering for a long time.
Very interesting profile – while previously the Port Charlotte series was rather oily and rich, this latest release has dialed the volume down quite a bit, in favour of loads of smaller instruments forming an orchestra. That orchestra is playing a very complex, yet elegant piece of high complexity, making it hard to pick out individual instruments, err, flavours. Personally I like this style of whisky very much, it’s a tad less mainstream and less “easy”, though die-hard fans of the previous oily style might be in for a bit of a change. Is this Adam’s own blending signature we’re starting to see here, building upon the stock Jim has left as a legacy?
(Nose: 86 Palate: 87 Finish: 86)
Thanks to Bruichladdich for the sample!