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Review: Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2024

Port Charlotte

Islay Barley 2014

Age: 7

Abv: 50 %

Place of purchase: Alko

Price:  99,40€

Port Charlotte Islay Barley is entirely produced on the Isle of Islay. The barley comes from eight farms located on the island, and both distillation and maturation also take place on Islay. I had the opportunity to taste this whisky during a Bruichladdich dinner in the fall and it proved to be quite enjoyable alongside the meal. Now, I finally had the time to delve into my own bottle and jot down my thoughts.

Nose: Smoke distinctly dominates the initial steps, but as the nose adjusts to the frequency of the smoke and moves past a slight alcohol sting after a moment of waiting, other notes begin to emerge. The prevailing element is a sweet and spicy fragrance that, even after careful consideration, is challenging to pinpoint. After intensive contemplation, the resulting description on paper reads that the whisky smells brown, and I struggle to articulate what I mean by this. Perhaps it's the earthy spiciness with some darker or gloomier tones.

Palate: Smoked vanilla with a light touch of lemon. The edge of a porcelain ashtray (the kind you might find in bars from times gone by) and that brown, sweet, earthy spiciness. Maybe a hint of nuttiness.

Finish: At the beginning of the finish, the earthy spiciness takes a giant leap, filling the mouth for a moment, followed by a hint of acidity reminiscent of a baby's spit-up (I've tasted this, thanks to one of my children), mixed with smoke and ashiness. The acidity persists throughout the finish. This acidity, I must emphasize, works well, but I just simply connect it with the aroma and flavor of a baby's spit-up.

Overall, I find the composition effective, and the flavor profile is cohesive. Additional nuances from the sidelines complement the structure nicely, creating a balanced and pleasing experience.

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