BottlesBruichladdich Reveals Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014

Bruichladdich Reveals Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014


Bruichladdich Distillery just unveiled its Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014. The latest release in the brand’s island provenance series, the single malt Scotch whisky was conceived, distilled, matured, and bottled on Islay using barley exclusively grown on the island from eight separate farms (Cruach, Craigens, Island, Dunlossit, Coull, Rockside, Sunderland and Mulindry Farms).

“Our Port Charlotte Islay Barley expressions encapsulate everything an Islay whisky can and should be, and the latest 2014 vintage is no different,” said head distiller Adam Hannett. “However, growing on Islay is no mean feat. Our location on Scotland’s rugged west coast and unpredictable weather, coupled with grazing wild geese and deer, means a successful harvest is never a given. But it’s a risk worth taking. As well as adding complexity to the character of this single malt, using Islay-grown barley goes beyond just the pursuit of flavour. This is a whisky that evokes a true sense of place, helps support Islay’s agricultural economy, and celebrates our island community.”

Each farm that contributed to the production of the whisky is located no more than 15 miles from the distillery. Each farmer undertook the risk of growing in challenging conditions to deliver the barley used for the 2014 vintage, resulting in a Port Charlotte single malt with true Islay provenance.

Bruichladdich Distillery works with a total of 20 farming partners on Islay, with more than 50% of the distillery’s barley grown on the Queen of the Hebrides. The farming partnerships help to develop new soil-improving practices and encourage crop diversification, in addition to supporting the agricultural community.

Bottled at 50% ABV and peated to 40 PPM, the maturation profile consists of 84% in first fill bourbon casks, 8% in second fill virgin oak and 8% in second fill Bordeaux wine casks. With notes of malty digestive biscuits and peat paving the way for a sweet medley of apricot, peach and ripe melon, this 2014 release holds fruit and smoke in perfect balance.

On the nose, malty digestive biscuits and peat embers open the show, followed by sweet vanilla and notes of honey, toffee, and crème brûlée. As the whisky breathes, its fruity character comes to the fore, with lemon rind and peat smoke rising from the glass, moving to grapefruit, ripe melon, peach, and crisp red apple. Port Charlotte’s signature maritime note is offset with a touch of wood spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, showcasing the depth and complexity of this single malt.

The palate finds an initial citrus tang, followed by sweet ripe fruit and gentle peat smoke. A subtle marine character comes through, with this sandy minerality complemented with toasted oak. On a second sip, the balance of fruit and smoke is unmistaken, with a medley of apricot, peach and ripe melon delicately wrapped in charred heather and peat embers. The maturation in American bourbon barrels brings lightly toasted oak notes, with a hint of coconut, creamy marzipan and tobacco. Soft stoned fruit and toasted oak sweetness leave a beautifully balanced finish, while a subtle, dry barbeque smoke lingers.

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014 is priced at £75 ($90 USD) and available to purchase via the brand’s official website or at variety of spirits retailers. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.

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