Port Charlotte PC11 EÃ’RNA NA H-ALBA Heavily Peated

59.5% ABV, £150 for 70cl

Score: 88/100

Port_Charlotte_PC11

What they say:

This seventh annual release in our Port Charlotte PC series encounters this heavily peated spirit eleven years into its journey.
Each year we release just a handful of precious bottles at cask strength. Our mission? To explore the effects of time on that esoteric union between spirit and oak as it mellows in our salt-soaked Hebridean air.

PC11, ‘Eòrna Na h-Alba’ – Scottish Barley – is our homage to the land and people that gave life to this whisky.

Character
Full and rich in texture. Deliciously smooth and smokey sweet, incredible to believe it is 59.5%!

Colour
Deep sunset / amber topaz.

Nose
It opens with rich, sweet, sherry and dry peat smoke, followed by notes of dates, prunes and raisins. Then hints of cinnamon bark, liquorice, juniper and mint. Next to rise is the citrus lemon and honey, synonymous with coastal maturation, and the sweet cereal notes from distillation – apple, pear, apricot and banana.

Palate
It’s a brilliant combination of seductive sherry and viscous texture that delights the palate. Mature “solera” notes of roasted walnut, oak, crème brûlée, tapioca plus the raisin flavours of dark, ripe fruits. Overlaid with all of the magic of handcrafted Islay single malt and this PC11 is really special. The original Port Charlotte was last produced in 1923 and all who made it are no longer alive, however their spirit remains and I hope as they enjoy their angels’ share they give us their blessings.

Finish
The richness of the spirit lingers on and on, a sensation you never want to end. For peat lovers this is wicked stuff – 59.5%, 40ppm, Scotland and Spain together – a combination full of passion, pride and excitement.

Mood
It’s a dram that should be shared with cherished friends, after dinner or just chilling out with music and good conversation. This is a spirit that warms the heart and mellows the mind.

What I say:

Our final dram at the Bruichladdich distillery sampling room (well final before we tucked into the Botanist Gin & Tonics) was this 11year old 7th release from the Port Charlotte stable. Fitting as after the tasting we retired back to the hostel in part of the old Port Charlotte distillery buildings for our evening meal before a bonfire on the beach.

Colour:

Copper, amber gold with long heavy tears (oily)

Nose:

Wheat, meaty, bbq meats, dusty old fireplace or cooking pit, marmite, beef, bacon, honey glazed ham

Taste:

Warming, prickly heat, chilli, wasabi paste, cinnamon, meaty, malty, Twiglets, wheat, coppery, salt, iodine, ‘bbq’, like a germolene sandwich on blackened rye bread.

Finish:

Long, dusty, peaty smoke, wood embers, honey glazed bbq ham

Overall:

Intersting, chilli spice oak and mesquite combination that I found hugely enjoyable. There was a real meaty maltiness to this dram – not so much as the Octomore but enough to balance all that chilli spice! Definitely a taste sensation!