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Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Port Charlotte 2011 ‘Islay Barley’ (2018, OB, 50%)

As you certainly already know, the “progressive Hebridean distillery” – aka Bruichladdich – produces a peaty version of malt named Port Charlotte. In the last few years, following the former owner’s philosophy, Bruichladdich have been betting on terroir: home-grown barley, maturation on site and total transparency on every production step. For this reason, surfing Bruichladdich’s website you can easily find any kind of information about this Port Charlotte ‘Islay Barley’: distilled in 2011 from peated Oxbridge and Publican barley (40 ppm) grown on Islay at Dunlossit, Kilchiaran and Sunderland farms, it matures on the island in both ex bourbon first fill casks (75%) and ex wine second fill casks (Syrah and Figero). Thank you guys for your precision… We would say it has been bottled in 2018 at 50%, but considering the new packaging it must be said: “Put into glass bullets”.

N: suddenly the sea-wind blowing between the white houses of Port Charlotte comes out the glass: burnt seaweed and dried fish. Rather naked, with a smoky and tarred peat not even that hardcore as expected. Probably the winter is coming with its suggestions, but we smell sandalwood and vervain. It’s not creamy at all, with a vague hint of vanilla. Cedar and sugary lemonade.

P: the sugary sweetness here is more evident, even if the peat is still the king: smoke, ash and tar again. It’s still definetely coastal, with sea breeze and seaweed. Black tea, too. On the palate is recognizable a hint of wine, impossible to detect at the nose. Good.

F: again seaweed in sticky, sweet honey. Long and coastal.

Probably confused by the quantity of information on the label, we tasted this PC with deference, expecting an unaffordable complexity. Instead, we can say this malt is relatively simple: to be clear, this whisky is wonderful, pleasant, pungent and satisfying, with a marine and tarry peat that constantly changes. It lacks a bit of magic… Homework done: 85/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Porcupine Tree – Anesthetize.

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