It’s been a while since I tried a Port Charlotte. It also seems the private casks and indie bottlings have gotten fewer in the last couple of years (maybe since Remy Cointreau took over?), but I got this sample from buddy Jon Beach when he sent me some stuff from bonny Scotland.
The fun thing is that it’s a Dutch bottling from a fresh Oloroso Cask, which has been a guarantee for success in the past. Port Charlotte + some decent age + a fresh sherry cask. I’m game!
This one was bought by a group of whisky fanatics quite some years ago. It should have been bottled in 2013, but somehow that got pushed back to 2015. I don’t think anyone regrets it having spent another two years in oak. Generally that’s not a bad thing.
Big, fat sherry up front. There’s no way around it. A smack of smoke in the face too. On that front it has already delivered to anyone’s expectations. Lots of fruit too, with plums, strawberry and even some rhubarb. Quite simple, but there’s a LOT of everything.
The palate is sharp (not surprising at 61.6% abv!) with lots of rich sweetness, oak, sherry and smoke. Peat, chili peppers, both red and dried fruits.
The finish mellows rather quickly, but the smoke lingers quite well. Flavors of peat, oak, fruit. It’s long and rich.
Well. Yes. This one works like a dream. It does everything you expect and it does it well. I don’t think anyone expects this to be an overly complex dram, and it isn’t. It’s full frontal sherry and smoke and that’s a lovely combination if there ever was one.
Thanks to Jon for sending this, it made a dreary night quite a lot better! Oh, and as expected with anything tasty these days, the price has gone up to some 230 euros. I’m not sure what it started at, but since it was an early bought private cask, it was probably quite a bit under 100 euros.
Anyway, great dram!
Port Charlotte, 2001-2015, 13 years old, Fresh Oloroso Cask 1025, 61.6%. Private cask for Aart Appeldoorn, The Netherlands.