Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Year Old Heavily Peated Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
"Very high quality & teasingly complex peated malt." 95 points - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2022
If your single malt selections are dictated by budget constraints, this will be a no brainer (so long as you don't mind a bit of peat). Conceived in 2006, Bruichladdich revived the Port Charlotte label from the Lochindaal distillery, operational between 1829 to 1929, two miles south in the town of Port Charlotte. Historical accounts from legendary British documentarian Alfred Barnard knew Lochindaal to produce only heavily peated malts, so the PC style is a replica of sorts. It started as 'PC5' with yearly follow-ups culminating in this general release 10 year old. Delivering a knock-out mix of lanolin, smouldering pine, butter menthol and vanilla cream that even the peat shy will fall for, it's superbly integrated, zesty, complex - and incredibly, at 40ppm the peat is not overbearing; Perfumed aromatics and a 50% ABV attack include Fisherman’s Friend lozenge, farmyard, dried grass and butterscotch as well as lanolin, oatmeal biscuit and chimney soot, followed by a finish that's delicately salty with dusty cocoa and hints of black tea. Both affordable and unanimously praised, it's one of those rare malts you can't fail to be impressed by. Matured predominantly in first-fill American oak casks, along with second-fill American and second-fill French wine casks, it comes bottled non chill filtered. 50% Alc./Vol. [2016 edition tasted].
Other reviews... "Very high quality & teasingly complex peated malt" 95 points - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2022
...After many limited releases, we finally have a permanent age-statement expression of Port Charlotte, with a satisfying number of years under its belt.... It is peated to 40ppm, in line with other Islay heavy-hitters, but the peat is never a blunt instrument, retaining sufficient restraint to allow other characteristics—maritime notes, the sweetness of caramel, coconut, and orchard fruits—to shine through. Number 4 in the 2018 Top 20 93 points - whiskyadvocate.com, reviewed by: Gavin Smith (Winter 2018)
...This new official Port Charlotte 10 is matured in a mix of first and second fill bourbon casks and refill French oak wine casks. Colour: gold. Nose: Lemon infused ash with a pack of unlit herbal cigarettes, lemon oil and soot. Goes on with many coastal and shoreline aromas such as seaweed and sandalwood notes. You may also add coal smoke, lanolin, sweet peat smoke and a little dried mint leaf. With water: becomes more citrus now with lots of lime and lemon juice, a hint of guava and some rather elegant pebbley and flinty mineral qualities. Mouth: Another acrid, punchily saline and maritime Port Charlotte. Lots of background farmyard notes and smoked barley aspects. Peppered mackerel, smoked hay, antiseptic and a little sourdough starter. With water: extremely ashy, drying and peppery now. Moves towards barley and tar with time. Finish: Long, salty, lemony, lots of hay, smoked cereals and dry earth. Comments: Not quite the equal of the 2001 but for a standard, entry level official bottling this is impressive and I think very good. What I find terrific is how loyal to the distillery character this is, everything feels refreshingly honest and distillate forward which I love. I also think it’s a smart direction to take when so many contemporaries - especially elsewhere on Islay - are increasingly reliant on wood doctoring for their own bottlings. In short: pure, loyal, extremely drinkable and worthwhile. - 89 points - whiskyfun.com