Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★
Type: Single malt whisky
Origin: Islay, Scotland
Port Charlotte 2007 8 year old is a heavily peated malt distilled at Bruichladdich and aged in French oak Cognac casks for 8 years. It is a travel retail exclusive.
The nose on this whisky neat and without water is too much to handle at first – if you want raw peaty power, this dram is for you! I detect peat, vanilla, smoked salmon and creamed cheese. A dram later, and the nose is more approachable – pecan pie, caramel, English style rum/brandy, citrus, mango, salt, malt and smoke fill my glass. Beautiful.
On the palate the malt is initially rough and peppery, overborne with peat, ash and soot and far too much burning ethanol. The peat and alcohol is – at first – simply too much for my taste buds; all I get is peat, smoke, and pepper. Second dram poured into my Glencairn, and things change now that my taste buds are battle hardened – beneath the blanket of peat and sooty smoke is old style lemonade (you know, the kind made with real lemons), lemon peel with hints of honey, vanilla, English style rum/brandy, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and wood smoke. Third dram, and apart from feeling a bit happy, I taste lots of gooey caramel underpinning the peat with lots of warming spices (especially cinnamon and ginger).
The finish tastes tarry like smoking the nub of a cigar, with lingering white ash, hints of salinity and some wood smoke. I get an oily malty finish with a coastal theme, with rummy/brandy notes on the finish.
Overall, take your time and get to know this dram well for a wild ride; brilliant work by Bruichladdich yet again. Please, serious peat lovers need only buy! The Cognac casks have left their mark on this whisky, with a lovely dryness and brandy-like sugars that struck me as rummy when you factor in the oak driven caramels and sugars. The star of the show, for me at least, was the lemon and caramel which off-set the heavy peat smoke.