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Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Port Charlotte “PC8” (2009, OB, 60,5%)

We tasted in the past some indie Port Charlotte (peated line of Bruichladdich) that were really impressive; let’s see now how the OB behave. Since 2006 the distillery placed on the market one vintage per year; like for the Laddie, now that the first distillates of the new management reached the 10you, they’ll be bottled regularly as core range. Straw color.

N: it’s the profile we expect from a young Islay aged in American oak; the trip smoke-vanilla-marine is there, let’s see how it’s expressed. The impression is that the PC, amongst the Islay peated malts, are the one with the creamiest vanilla, and this one is no exception: rich whiffs of bourbon, vanilla, yellow fruit (pear), coconut, cream (mascarpone cream?); marzipan notes, meringue. Not really marine (low brackish notes), while the smoky side it’s all about coal and burnt wood. Few drop of lemon. The water amplifies the burnt feeling.

P: without water the alcohol is intimidating: the typical intensity of the PC is well recognizable, with a flame of sweet vanilla, lots of licorice, followed by an intense smoke (coal and ash in particular). Really good vegetal and mineral notes. Compared with the nose, the smoke and the marine side are more mouth-coating, balancing very well the monolithic but still young sweetness (pear, cream, brioche). Hyperactive casks with a constant woody tone.

F: the phenolic and marine notes are finally here, dominating the scene; vegetal notes very intense, with on the background a beautiful almond next to a nice vanilla. Long, intense, persistent.

Simple, direct, good. The sweet side with its vanilla tends to prevail on the islander one, with different proportions in the three phases: on the nose it’s knockout, on the palate the smoke returns very loud and at the final it’s the single player. A good evolving balance, everything marked by a great intensity thanks to the interaction between a great distillate and some very active casks. We like Port charlotte, and this is no exception: 88/100 it’s our vote, while Serge has this opinion.

Recomended soundtrack: Steve VaiJibboom.

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