Last month, just a few days after releasing online exclusive Port Charlotte 16 Year Old for the virtual Fèis Ìle festival, came the next member in the PC cask exploration series, the Port Charlotte OLC:01.
We had MC:01 and MRC:01 (Marsala and Bordeaux respectively) and now comes the OLC:01 a 9 Year Old Port Charlotte which was distilled in 2010 and bottled earlier this year after being finished in Oloroso Hogsheads.
This is a major release with 30,000 bottles (at 55.1%) in circulation so it’s wildly available if you want to buy one after reading the review.
Nose: Potent and lively, sweet smoke drifts, peat, dried red berries, vanilla, lactic note that disappeared after a few minutes, honey. After left to rest for a few minutes some smoked meat, cured meat, also maltiness and if you wield some wild imagination you could smell there haggis in berries sauce. After a few more minutes more sherry sweetness, more dried fruits and it’s nicely balanced. With a few drops of water the peat is tamed and there’s even more sweet fruits.
Palate: Short burst of sweet dried fruit, then meat in peat-smoked berries sauce, there’s a minor element of dry peat smoke, vanilla, subtle oakiness. With a few drops of water less oomph, more sweet fruitiness and less peat but it also loses some depth and complexness.
Finish: Medium length, vanilla, peat, dried fruits in the upper throat, semi dry.
Thoughts: It’s not exactly what I expected. I thought we’d get a more sherried Port Charlotte (a balanced 50% peat 50% sherry whisky) but instead we have here a rich and vigor ass kicking peated whisky with a relatively minor sherry influence providing an additional sweet sherry flavours layer. All in all, it’s a well done Port Charlotte that will please the peat heads out there.