Second up in this trilogy of Bruichladdich reviews that also includes the Islay Barley and the Classic Laddie is this Port Charlotte which is described as being “Heavily Peated”. I do like to spend some time with Uncle Peat so naturally, I’m intrigued by this one.
About the Distillery
The Bruichladdich distillery was built by John, Robert, and William Harvey, on the Rhinns of the Isle of Islay in 1881. The Harvey family previously owned two distilleries in Glasgow. They used an inheritance to construct the third, Bruichladdich.
Unlike the other older distilleries on Islay, which were developed from old farm buildings, the Bruichladdich distillery was built with stones from the seashore. It incorporated unique, tall, bottle-necked stills, which produce a more pure and original spirit, unlike those produced by the other older farm distilleries.
In May 2001, the distillery was dismantled and reassembled but kept most of its original Victorian decor and equipment, most of which is still in use today. Distilling is done without the help of computer control and relies entirely on the skill of the artisans the company employs.
Bruichladdich pride themselves on only using 100% Scottish Barley in their products and also the whiskies not being chill filtered or using any colourings.
But even more than this, they “Believe Terroir Matters”. What this means (it is nothing to do with small dogs) is that they believe environmental factors that the crops experience while growing play a big role in the final taste of their whisky.
Who knows some think it does and some disagree, but it’s an interesting marketing device.
As usual, we don’t give a wet and windy crop about that, all we want to know is does it taste good, correct?
Harvest my review of the Bruichladdich Port Charlotte to find out:
On the bottle:
“Peated to a heavyweight 40ppm, Port Charlotte Scottish barley is a multi-vintage cuvee crafted from casks hand picked by our head distiller Adam Hannett. Waves of peat smoke are followed by vanilla, figs and soft plump dates. The finish is long and heartwarming.”
Price: Circa £45 / $60
The peat is light on the nose not like the heavy peat advertised and it’s briny but light on smoke. Has the light honey and sea like aromas you expect from anIslay. Some tinned pears. A disappointing nose.
Nice and smoky on the palate, not sure where it was hiding on the nose but it’s here now! Honey and liquorice with sharp citrus. Quite herbal but also spicy. A lot to enjoy.
Very peaty, smoky and malty with a smidge of mint at the end.
This is an enjoyable dram. Starts of slow with a weak and uninspiring nose but then it finds itself on the palate and makes up for it with a classic Islay profile.
I do also quite like the pride that Bruichladdich has in the processes they use and this comes off in the final product.
There are probably better options available in the price range for an Islay but it is a little bit different from the norm which might just make this worth a punt.