Bruichladdich has released Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011. The heavily-peated whisky “celebrates the convergence of French and Scottish provenance,” according to the Islay-based distillery, and will replace Port Charlotte OLC:01 2010.
Made from Scottish barley, trickle distilled in 2011, Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011 has matured for a minimum of six years in American oak casks, before spending the remainder of its life in casks which previously held red wine from the Gironde left bank, north of Bordeaux. The ten-year-iteration carries the traditional heavily-peated flavor profile of the Islay-based distillery.
The Scotch is vibrant and full-bodied, with an understated balance of barbeque smoke and an abundance of berry notes. The ex-Pauillac wine casks impart lots of dark fruit, oak spice, coconut and caramel to the whisky.
On those nose, lots of fresh, fruit aromas mingle with the dry peat smoke to entice you into the dram; from the oak comes spices – cloves, ginger and cassia, along with chocolate, toasted malt with toffee, brown sugar and delicate coconut and vanilla notes. As you nose again, the fruit notes of both the spirit and the wood come together – melon and citrus from the spirit and dried plums and raisin from the cask. The earthy peat smoke wraps around the fruit and spice and holds everything together, highlighting the wonderful marine and ozone notes that breeze through the dram.
As the first drop touches your tongue, a wave of flavors sweep across the palate, the sweetness from the oak and maltlead, followed by the smoke, citrus and dried fruit notes. Another sip helps to order the flavours, and you find the oak notes, the dried fruit, marzipan and spice. Caramel and chocolate notes emerge alongside the peat smoke with its earthy richness. A little water opens the citrus fruit and marine elements and brings out a little more of the coconut and vanilla notes from the oak. The structure on the palate is firm and round and balances the depth of flavour of this whisky.
The peat smoke comes through on the finish with a more medicinal phenol style. Coconut and floral notes waver, and a saline marine element combines with the earthy smoke in the classic port charlotte style. The oak’s softness and the minerality of the spirit become wrapped in smoke, a familiar signature to this dram.
Character – The depth of the oak and the harmony it creates with the smoke define this port charlotte cask edition’s character. Muscular and round in texture and flavour, yet with a typically dry, earthy smoke and marine breeze style, Port Charlotte.
Bottled at 56.1% ABV and available globally from April 2021, the Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011 is priced at £90 ($125 USD). For more information check out the Bruichladdich website.
Last month, Bruichladdich unveiled the first release in its Micro Provenance series of single cask Whiskies. The Rémy Cointreau-owned distillery will debut the collection in Singapore and Malaysia.