This is actually a tough one for me. I adore Port Charlotte in all its tongue scalding peat-infused cask strength glory. The first time PC6 melted my face I thought I had died and gone to heaven (or hell…pretty sure that toasty little locale will be more to my liking anyway). PC5, PC7 and PC8 were all delectible little fireballs in their own right.
So why then, with a new Port Charlotte in my glass, am I suggesting this is a tough one? Quite simply because it has been gelded.
I want to be explicitly clear here. This is still a damn fine drink. It has all the characteristics that make Port Charlotte infinitely enjoyable. It is peaty and smoky…buttery, citric and salty…carries a bit of youthful fruit and a load of licorice. And too…it practically screams Islay. The problem is…I have a punching bag of a palate. I love bold strokes of flavor and rich depths in what I consume; be it food, coffee, beer, wine or whisky. I taste this PC and can’t help but compare it to the big guns in the range.
Having said all of that…for those that take a little more civility in the glass, while still embracing the stormy ferocity of Islay malts…this one is a gooder.
Farmy notes of cowsheds. Iodine. Peat and smoke. Faintly buttery and vaguely medicinal. A ghostly trace of mixed berry. Lemon. Licorice. Barley. Swirl gently and…voila!
If you can find (and afford) the cask strength vintages in the PC family, I would nudge you in that direction. If not…you’re still in for a treat with this one.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt