Port Charlotte PC12 OILEANACH FURACHAIL (Travel Retail Exclusive)

Heavily Peated Islay Single Malt

58.7% ABV, ~£110 for 70cl

Score: 88/100

PC12

What they say:

In the Port Charlotte PC range we celebrate change. Our very first release, PC5, eight short years ago was named “Evolution”. With arrivals there are departures. Nothing lasts forever. And so, the master must one day pass his craft to his apprentice and nurture the next generation.

Adam Hannett has been working alongside Jim McEwan since 2006, watching and learning from the legendary distiller. Adam has a special talent, a perceptive nose and a rare ability to analyse and objectify sensory experience. One day the ultimate responsibility for this precious spirit will rest on his shoulders. Here we acknowledge Adam and his ongoing journey with Jim. “Oileanach furachail”.

Tasting notes:

Character

A heavyweight Islay – rich, smokey and smooth.

Colour

Polished walnut in an autumn sunset.

Nose

Opens with bursts of smoke, salt and dark fruit then develops raisins, toffee, sweet oak and ripe plum. Hints of cinnamon spice, polish, candied orange and lemon peels. hazelnut and dates.

Palate

Rich and succulent in texture bringing harmony to a spirit of 58.7%. Sherry flavours of date and fig combine with peat smoke to balance honey, lemon and hot toasted oak. Apricot pear and green apple are subtle but the character of our pure spirit cannot be hidden. There have been no shortcuts to get here. Long years in our warehouses on the shores of Loch Indaal have brought out the exceptional qualities of casks sourced from far and wide. Combine this with the influence of fresh salty Islay air and you have a dram of unmistakable character.

Finish

You may think it will never end as the smoke lingers releasing touches of liquorice, date and sweet malt. Close your eyes and you are on Islay. As this dram fades you can reflect on another step of your journey and look forward with confidence as there are many more to come.

Mood

To be enjoyed when there is time to relax. Throw a few more peats on the fire and settle back in contemplation.

PC12rev

What I say:

The latest release under the Port Charlotte label from Bruichladdich is this 12 year old heavily peated and sherry-matured expression. Thanks to Bruichladdich, Steve Prentice of Somerset Whisky Blog and Tom Thomson of Toms Whisky Reviews for the sample.

Colour:

Rich amber gold and new copper, light tears

Nose:

Musty, dusty, earthy peat, dunnage warehouse, woody oak, raisin, fig, dates, toffee, treacle, molasses, beeswax wood polish, finally a fruity and zesty orange and peach fruitiness emerges

Taste:

Orange and cherry sherbet announce the leathery/tannic sherry fizz, fig, date and raisin, a lighter apple and pear fruitiness, smoky peat embers, briny sea salt, malty cereal barley, kippers (oak smoked fish) or honeyed smoked mackerel with a squeeze of fresh/citric lemon juice

Finish:

Long, spiced peat, smoked paprika and cinnamon, drying leathery tannins and sherry fruits, gentle peat smoke persists

Port Charlotte

Overall:

Full-flavoured yet gentle, the PC12 packes in the full flavour of a heavily-peated Islay malt and the subtleties of sherry-maturation into a well-rounded and very drinkable dram. The drying smokiness at the end tempts you back into another taste from the start. Very malty, this is not quite a full-breakfast dram like the super-peaty Octomore but there is definitely a meal in here. Filling and full-bodied, the Port Charlotte PC12 is one to savour!