SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY / 700ml / 59.2%
A heavily peated whisky that explores the influence of wood with maturation in first-fill ex-American whisky casks and second-fill French wine casks before a final year of marrying in French oak.
Nose – Initially you are met with a summer fruit and peat smoke extravaganza! Raspberry and cherry, with Turkish delight and smoky driftwood embers burst from the glass jostling for attention. There is a distinctly summer feel to this dram, no brooding peat monster it has a light, bright and fruity air. As the whisky opens you find the Islay sea breeze, ozone and salty. The oak, both American and French give real depth to the dram, classic vanilla, toasted bread, chocolate, roasted coffee beans, liquorice walnut and almond. Each time you go back to the glass there seems to be a bubble of red berry and ripe plum bursting under your nose.
Palate – Certainly warming at 59.2%, lively and sweet with icing sugar and marshmallow, bound in smoke. There is a rush to capture all that is taking place. Sweet red fruit and peat smoke melt away slightly as the power of the oak comes through with tobacco leaf and toasted oak. Maple syrup, pecan and coffee are complimented by hints of orange and cooked peach. There is a complexity here that didn’t seem possible on the first sip. As you go back to the glass that initial rush of flavour has become a more complete experience. Nowthere is salt spray, dry smoke and the oak is more prominent, raspberry and plum combine with vanilla and butterscotch.
Finish – On the finish the peat smoke is a little more medicinal than normal, think bandages and creosote. A dryness from the oak tells of the toasting of the French and the char of the American and the final combination in premium French oak together. The influence of the extra maturation in sumptuous first growth casks has added a layer of fruit that weaves its way through the smoke and into the heart of the whisky. The spirit is viscous and textured allowing a long finish where creamy vanilla, spicy clove and ripe peach melt away from the powerful peat smoke allowing it to finish alone, leaving the Port Charlotte DNA firmly in place.
Character – Lively, sunny, rosy, a wonderful experience and superb combination of fruit laden French oak, strong peat smoke and Islay maturation.