|Spirits Type||Scotch Whisky|
|Spirits Style||Single Malt|
Port Charlotte Islay Barley expressions are a direct embodiment of everything an Islay whisky can and should be. Not only is it conceived, distilled, matured and bottled on the island, but the barley harvest for this 2013 vintage was also raised on home shores in 2012 by seven of Islay farming partners. Hunter Jackson at Cruach, Ian McKerrell at Island farm, Raymond Fletcher at Dunlossit estate, Donald and Andrew Jones at Coull, Mark French at Rockside, Alastair Torrance at Mulindry and Raymond Stewart at Sunderland undertook the risk of growing in challenging conditions to deliver the barley for this Scotch whisky with unparalleled provenance. This eight-year-old single malt has matured in ex-American and ex-wine casks hailing from the Pessac-Léognan region of France.
Nose -The nose opens with delicate floral notes of lily and geranium before warm orange zest and dried earthy peat smoke brings body and gravity. Banoffee pie and digestive biscuit come out from behind the peat smoke and carry forward this dram’s malty, fruity character. Cherry coconut and malted barley jostle with apricot and melon. The nose is so enticing; the sweetness of the oak and the outstanding rubbery, peppery phenolic notes are balanced perfectly with the fruit and floral style of our slow, careful fermentation and distillation.
Palate – The first taste is a wondrous thing; all at once, the salinity, the fruit, the light peat smoke, and the sweet oak show their presence in a whirl of complexity and entice you in to go again. There is great texture from the spirit, and its time resting in carefully selected oak allows a subtle almond note to combine with coconut, caramel, vanilla, and muscovado sugar. The peat smoke in this whisky is as beautifully balanced as ever, weaving through the components, highlighting them but not dominating. A dram that is gentle on the palate yet has a tremendous depth of flavour.
Finish – The finish again shows the balance we are looking for. The smoke, fruit, oak and floral notes melt into each other, and a beautiful creamy texture allows melon, peach and cherry to come through before dwindling into the dry embers of peat in the hearth.
Character – Islay grown barley brings so much complexity to the character in this whisky. The peat smoke in this Port Charlotte is, as ever, beautifully evocative of that traditional Islay style. Purity from the distillation and complexity of maturation brings all the components together with harmony and balance.