Whiskies from this most southerly of the Western Isles are some of the most distinctive in Scotland. Often heavily peated, Islay malts have an unmistakable smoky flavour.
port charlotte scottish barley, heavily peated 50% alc. vol.
Peated to a heavyweight 40PPm. This is a cuvee crafted from casks hand-picked by Master Distiller Jim McEwan to showcase the Supreme Elegance of the Port Charlotte Spirit. This Whisky is Testament to the belief that raw ingredients matter. Distilled from 100% Scottish Barley it gently matures in the Lochside Village of Port Charlotte before being bottled at the Distillery using Islay spring Water.
port charlotte Mac.01 2010
heavily peated 59.2% alc. vol.
Bottled at 59.2% alcohol and in limited numbers, the Distillery introduces The Port Charlotte MRC:01 2010. Distilled from 100% Scottish barley, from the Invernesshire region, this sweet and fruity spirit has spent time in first fill American whiskey casks and second fill French wine cask. These component parts have been combined and matured for an extra year in the finest French oak from the Bordeaux left bank.
Initially you are met with a summer fruit and peat smoke extravaganza! Raspberry and Cherry, with Turkish delight and smoky embers burst from the glass jostling for attention. There is a distinctly summer feel to this dram, no brooding peat monster it has a light, bright and fruity air. As the whisky opens you find the Islay sea breeze, ozone and salty. The oak, both American and French give real depth to the dram, classic vanilla, toasted bread, chocolate, roasted coffee beans, liquorice walnut and almond. Each time you go back to the glass there seems to be a bubble of red berry and ripe plum bursting under your nose.
finlaggan old reserve 40% alc. vol.
A mystery Islay single malt from an unnamed distillery, purported by many to be Lagavulin, which somehow seems a little unlikely to us. That said, this is a terrific dram for the money and likely to appeal to frugal peatheads.
Nose: Earthy smoky peat and salty.
Palate: Pungent peat smoke, chewy sweet Malt, Pepper, Tar and a touch of Iodine.
Finish: Long and warming, Smoky Ashes of the peat fire.
bruichladdich - the classic laddie 50% alc. vol.
Matured in American oak casks alongside Lochindaal, and chosen to represent the classic, unpeated distillery style. Bruichladdich's new signature bottling is made with 100% Scottish barley.
Nose: Elegantly sweet with honey'd barley, boiled sweets and orange petals. Wafts of sea air.
Palate: Red apples and white grapes, with touches of sweet cinnamon and brown sugar. Still softly coastal.
Finish: Mineral-rich malt, with toffee and more honey.
black art 5.1 Bruichladdich
48.4% alc. vol.
Black Art stands for a very special cuvée. The few barrels come from all corners of the warehouses and can only be identified by an experienced master distiller like Jim McEwan or Adam Hannett and artistically mated to a Black Art. For several years, several barrels were under special observation. The final recipe remains one of the distillery's best kept secrets.
It takes some time to grasp the complexity of all flavors, because this whiskey is constantly changing. Again and again new nuances rise and reveal the aromatic secret of this impressive cuvée piece by piece. The fruit notes are reminiscent of cherry, mango, apricot, plum and some orange zest. There is a certain sweetness above everything, like a gentle veil of brown sugar, vanilla and figs in syrup.
lagavulin 11 year old,
"offer man edition" 46% alc. vol.
Appearance: Brass with glints of gold plating.
Nose: The peat smoke is upfront, but it is not a big slap in the face; it remains subdued in the background as you pick up the smell of fruit cake. Pear and green apple stand out more, but I find a lingering smidge of perfectly ripe yellow banana. Citrus zest and lemon grass come in waves. Just before the finish is a mix of jasmine and black tea; Earl Grey or English Breakfast. The end of the nose is vibrant with the skins of nectarine and hard white peach.
Palate: The peat is robust at the beginning, and there is a quick burn, but the intensity dissipates fairly quick. The mouthfeel is creamy and soft, yet somehow feels light and clean. The highlight is the taste of butter tartlets similar to the kind my great grandmother used to make. While apple and golden raisin are present, the baking spices are minimal. The whisky is slightly tannic and herbal. There is a hint of sweetness that dances with a cigar ash and peppercorn for the finish.
lagavulin 12 year old,
special release 2019 56.5% alc. vol.
2019's Diageo Special Releases bring us a 12-year-old Lagavulin matured in refill American oak casks. Sweeter and more mineral than previous releases, it has aromas of sweet green peat, green apples, lemon oil, wood smoke, warm tar and brine. The palate offers notes of salty sea breeze, fresh green veg, young oak, saucy barbecue sauce, cinnamon, lemon lockets and earthy, damp peat.
Nose: Big bouncy smoke, sweet seaweed icecream and candied lemons. Bacon doughnuts covered in maple syrup are there too, alongside banana cream. It’s all cradled in soft TCP.
Palate: Big salt rocks studded along a stick of bacon caramel. Sweet TCP joins vanilla, liquorice and barley sugar along the seam of smoke, then banana notes build.
Finish: Soft and peaty, with those ripe banana notes lingering.
lagavulin 12 year old,
special release 2020 56.4% alc. vol.
Matured in traditional refill American oak casks. Ashy punch with pronounced smoky notes. Fresh and salty. A earthy classic with hints of Citrus packed with sweet spices. The finish is long and smoky