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Type – Single Malt
Age – 10 Year Old
Location – Islay
Casks – First-fill American whiskey casks, Second-fill American whiskey casks and Second-fill French wine casks
Price – £42.89
Smokiness – 3.5/5
Fruitiness – 3.5/5
Oakiness – 3/5
Spiciness – 1/5
Boldness – 3/5
Taste – 4.5/5
Nose – 3/5
Value – 4/5
Don’t be fooled by the Port Charlotte 10. It’s bold black case and bottle with ‘Heavily Peated’ written on both will instil a mix of excitement and fear. However, the experience is quite different.
This single malt scotch from the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay carries some similar traits to some of their other products, such as The Classic Laddie, in terms of how soft the approach is. What is surprising is that the nose is light, similar to their unpeated products. You still get a smokey whiff but it won’t hit you like an Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Lagavulin in terms of smoke. There’s quite a strong lemon citrus and metallic smell which is so refreshing it really doesn’t match the black branding it comes in.
This scotch uses first-fill American whiskey casks, second-fill American whiskey casks and second-fill French wine casks and this heavily influences the flavour.
The taste is definitely when the peat comes in but you’re taken on a journey until you get there. It’s light and not viscous or oily, which you find with quite a few Islay offerings. You keep the citrus notes but you actually get more sweetness. It’s reminiscent of a lemon cheesecake that’s been finished in a smoker. The longer you leave the scotch on your palette the sweeter it gets. Overall, for those that have are into sweet and smokey single malts, this is a fantastic option.
The Port Charlotte 10 ends with a peat and oaky finish. It doesn’t last for long and it’s still in keeping with how refreshing the single malt is.
Honestly, we were apprehensive about trying this one. The ‘Heavily Peated’ branding inferred that there was just one characteristic but having tried it, we couldn’t be more wrong and that’s why we said don’t be fooled by this one. It’s an incredibly light and delicate single malt and the colour supports that too.
At first glance, it’s quite pricey for a 10 year old but you do get value in flavour from the complexity of the casks used. If you’re into peated whiskies it will certainly give you a different option on your bar shelf. Overall, it’s a single malt with a bad boy image but really actually very approachable. A heavily enjoyed scotch.
It’s lighter than expected so it won’t need much but a little water can help bring out some more of the underlying floral notes.
Rock, Metal, Punk, Blues
For this single malt, we need an album, or an artist, that has a terrifying image but their music is really quite accessible. So what better option than Iron Maiden. To pair with the Port Charlotte 10 we’ve selected their Powerslave album.
This is one of their earlier albums from 1984 and it has plenty of harmonised guitar action that you’ll find on all the tracks. This matches nicely with the harmonising of the different casks used.
However, it’s the ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’ track that we feel matches the scotch nicely. It’s got a punky riff and a catchy chorus. It’s very easy going. The solos are also memorable, especially when you hear each guitarist playing off each other.
Overall, a great pairing!