Last year, when I was participating in quite a lot of bottle-shares I had just told myself to stop doing that. Then this popped up. I had to have it. Why? It’s Port Charlotte, it’s a peated, sherried dram and it’s properly aged. Sounds like reason enough to me. Also, because I could have it was as good an answer as any.
Anyway, a while later my 10cl arrived and I didn’t get around to it for some reason. Summer makes me less inclined to drink ridiculously strong and peated whisky. There’s a style for every season and the style that goes best with roaring fires and snow on roofs didn’t fit 25+ degrees in the back yard.
While the weather hasn’t turned completely yet, it is getting somewhat colder and I decided to crack open the wee bottle that had patiently waited to be tried and tested.
The nose is heavy with thick smoke and sweet peaches. The sherry is quite noticeable and of a very fruity, peach and apricot kind. The smoke is deep, heavy and leathery. Maybe even beefy. There’s ash from wood and vegetables. Grass and hay.
The palate is sharp but not overpoweringly so. What also helps is that the flavors are big enough to overcome 62.5% abv. The sherry is here too, still very fruity in a very similar way. Peaches, black pepper and the smoke gets a tad oily. The grass and hay are in the background, which makes for a nice bit of depth.
The finish is surprisingly gentle. It really sticks to the inside of your mouth with syrupy sweet flavors of peach and sherry. There’s smoke, pepper as and oak.
While a whisky like this will never be expected to be the most complex dram ever, this one shows quite some depth and layeredness. There’s quite some flavors to be discovered and the sweetness nicely balances the stellar abv.
It’s been a while since I thoroughly enjoyed a heavily peated whisky and this one reminds me that I really, really like Port Charlotte. Especially when sherried. The weird thing is that this is still available at Nickolls and Perks. For an acceptable £ 78.
Port Charlotte 10yo, 2002-2013, 62.5%, Private Cask #1155 for Nickolls & Perks. Available at Nickolls & Perks for £ 78, or little over € 100