Bruichladdich has been described as ‘a working distillery museum’ but in its hayday, it was one of Islay’s most modern distilleries and today it is one of Scotland’s most innovative. Built in 1881, by the Harvey brothers, like most distilleries when its fortunes were largely linked to its blends. After multiple changes of ownership and some major investment, the Bruichladdich Distillery continues today to experiment and innovate. Port Charlotte is Bruichladdich’s heavily peated single malt with a peating level of around 40ppm (parts per million). Port Charlotte is known for being naturally peaty but also has the elegance, complexity and floral notes for which their stills are famous.
On the nose: you’ll experience a healthy dose of peat smoke, however, not of the Islay type. This is closely followed by notes of iodine and salted caramel and spices in the form of black pepper and paprika. There are some lovely leathery notes wafting around in there followed by vanilla, plums, poached pears, milk chocolate and walnuts. On the palate: there is a rich sweetness, coupled with that smoke initially nosed. That Maritime caramel note is ever-present, followed by vanilla and toasted oats. There is a lovely twist of zest floating around in there, alongside notes of liquorice. The finish: is long, sweet and oaky, with lingering smoky peat.
The verdict: The Bruichladdich Port Charlotte is just one of the many expressions available in this range and as an entry point, it’s perfect. It has all the notes you’d expect from an Islay scotch whisky but it also has tonnes of depth to back up that big peaty smoke. From nose to palate, it is a very consistent drop that has been very well-balanced. While the ABV percentage is quite high at 50%, I suggest you try it neat first, then add water if required.
Bruichaladdich Port Charlotte Heavliy Peated Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky can be found online or in a well-stock whisky shop for approximately £45. For more information on this Port Charlotte Heavliy Peated expression, visit the official Bruichaladdich website.