Now that all whisky festivals have been cancelled, there are still a few distilleries that have released festival bottlings. Bruichladdich is one of them, who released this Port Charlotte 16 year old for Feis Ile 2020. It turns out to be the oldest they ever bottled themselves.
However, this is not the oldest Port Charlotte ever bottled as there are a handful of indie releases on the market that are even slightly older. The oldest of which, according to Whiskybase, is an 18-year-old Port Charlotte bottled by Claxton’s which was distilled in 2001, the first year of distillation of Port Charlotte at Bruichladdich.
This Port Charlotte was distilled in 2003 in 3 different parcels, of which the first parcel was matured in refill hogsheads, re-casked into 1st fill bourbon casks in 2012. Parcel 2 consisted of 1s fill bourbon barrels, re-casked into ex-Sauterness cask in 2013. And the last parcel was an assemblage of ex-sherry, ex-bourbon and virgin oak casks. Are you still with me? 😉 And this has resulted in 3000 bottles, which were bottled at a strength of 55.8% ABV.
Port Charlotte 16 year old tasting notes:
Nose: a lovely layer of peat, folled by some honey sweetness and a hint of vanilla. A whiff of some kind of red wine, almost Bordeaux-like, weird. Red berries. And lemon in the background.
Taste: Some peat here. A note of honey glazed smoked ham. A pinch of salt. Honey. Milk chocolate. And a bunch of fresh fruits, such as oranges but also forest fruits with mostly blueberries and red berries. Then it goes towards herbs, liquorice, anise, and eucalyptus. Later also cinnamon.
Finish: mid-long to long. Smoke and eucalyptus. A pinch of ginger and cinnamon. The forest fruits are trying to get through here now too.
Oh, this is really good. A lot is happening and you just want to keep tasting it. Unfortunately, I only had a sample because I would have liked more of this. Very tasty stuff.