Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Have just tried ... Port Charlotte 2002 'Royal Mile Whiskies exclusive'

port charlotte 2002Port Charlotte is not actually a distillery. There used to be a distillery on the island of Islay called Port Charlotte, however this closed in the 1920s. Now another Islay distillery, Bruichladdich, have brought the old buildings and are renovating them so that production can start once again in 2009. Currently, only the malting house is in operation and it is here that the barley used in this whisky was malted. Bruichladdich are releasing limited editions of heavily peated whiskies under this Port Charlotte name. This one is a very limited release of 439 bottles. The owner of Royal Mile Whiskies, Keir Sword, purchased one cask and has chosen to bottle it now after five and a half years of maturation. There have only been three previous releases of the new Port Charlotte spirit since reopening. Two have been released by Bruichladdich (named PC5 and PC6) and one by an independent bottling company.

The colour is very pale, like straw and the nose blows you away. It is packed with heavy smokiness (imagine a bonfire), damp moss, vanilla and something vegetal (reminded me of fresh leaves). On the palate, the smoke is very full on and quite overpowering but there are other flavours coming through. There is sweetness mixed with a spiciness (like cracked black pepper) and a distinct salty character. The finish is quite long with that smokiness and saltiness hanging around for a decent time. This is very good and smooth considering it is a very young whisky. To be honest, I found the smokiness a bit overpowering but once you got beyond that there were some other very interesting characteristics. This whisky can only be bought at Royal Mile Whiskies and retails for £29.99.

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