Bruichladdich Distillery recently announced the release of the Cask Exploration Edition of Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011.
The new release celebrates what’s described as the convergence of French and Scottish provenance. Scottish barley, trickle distilled in 2011, matured for a minimum of six years in American oak casks, before spending the remainder of its life in casks that previously held red wine from the Gironde left bank, north of Bordeaux. The resulting character is a balance of barbeque smoke and an abundance of berry notes, according to the official tasting profile, while the ex-Pauillac wine casks impart lots of dark fruit, oak spice, coconut and caramel to the whisky.
The Port Charlotte range explores the influence of barley origin, cask exploration and the passing of time. The Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011 will replace the Port Charlotte OLC:01 2010 alongside current Port Charlotte 10 and Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012 listings. The Port Charlotte spirit was first distilled in 2001 when the distillery was resurrected after seven years of closure. The single malt whisky is named after the village of Port Charlotte that lies two miles south of Bruichladdich on Islay.
Bottled at 56.1% ABV and with a 40ppm, the Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011 is available globally at a retail price of £90 ($125 USD). Official tasting notes can be found below.
- Nose: Lots of fresh, fruit aromas mingle with the dry peat smoke; from the oak comes spices – cloves, ginger and cassia, along with chocolate, toasted malt with toffee, brown sugar and delicate coconut and vanilla notes. As you nose again, the fruit notes of both the spirit and the wood come together – melon and citrus from the spirit and dried plums and raisin from the cask. The earthy peat smoke wraps around the fruit and spice and holds everything together, highlighting the wonderful marine and ozone notes that breeze through the dram.
- Palate: As the first drop touches your tongue, flavours sweep across the palate, the sweetness from the oak and malt lead, followed by the smoke, citrus and dried fruit notes. Another sip helps to order the flavors, and you find the oak notes, the dried fruit, marzipan and spice. Caramel and chocolate notes emerge alongside the peat smoke with its earthy richness. A little water opens the citrus fruit and marine elements and brings out a little more of the coconut and vanilla notes from the oak. The structure on the palate is firm and round and balances the depth of flavor of this whisky.
- Finish: The peat smoke comes through on the finish with a more medicinal phenol style. Coconut and floral notes waver, and a saline marine element combines with the earthy smoke in the classic port charlotte style. The oak’s softness and the minerality of the spirit become wrapped in smoke, a familiar signature to this dram.