Port Charlotte 10-Year-Old
Bruichladdich’s 10-year-old Port Charlotte has been conceived, distilled, matured and bottled on the Scottish island of Islay.
The Bruichladdich team have deep-rooted values and an ambition to make the ultimate Islay whisky. A whisky made by people not software; a whisky that is watched by its makers throughout each day of its maturing life; a whisky born of a community, a vision and a burning desire to kick start a single malt whisky revolution. This Port Charlotte 10-year-old is who they are. This is where they’re from.
The first distillation of Port Charlotte single malt was in May 2001 and the flavour profile was quite different from the typical Islay style. With a softer, barbecue, campfire quality it has retained all of the elegance and finesse of the Bruichladdich house style, without any signs of the typical medicinal note usually associated with Islay whiskies.
To differentiate the spirit from the unpeated Bruichladdich it was named after the village of Port Charlotte, which lies two miles to the south of the Bruichladdich Distillery.
NOSE: The smoke is calmed by the marine, ozone character. Time has brought a balance and harmony, in the combination of oak, smoke and spirit. While the smoke is always discernible on the nose, it’s dry, earthy, peat-ash style allows the oak to come forward with waves of golden caramel, fudge, vanilla custard and hints of ginger, nutmeg and clove. There is citrus fruit, coaxed from the glass with a drop of water, gentle lemon meringue and clementine. Breathe deeply and the floral aromas of wild thyme, heather and sea pink bring you to the Atlantic coast.
PALATE: On the palate, there is a noticeable delicacy and softness in texture and style. Again, the balance of flavour is superb as themoke wraps loosely around the sweetness that’s drawn from deep within the oak. Coconut, vanilla custard and lemon honey combines with smoked oysters and sun baked salty sand.
FINISH: The finish is sublime, smoky, but also the soft sweetness of fudge and malted barley, orange, mango and banoffee pie, hinting of the depth and quality of the oak. The many layers interchange on each sip. As the smoke comes and goes, so too do the notes of the spirit-ripe apple and apricot, beautifully intertwined with malt and oak sweetness and the typical Port Charlotte style dry smoke.
CHARACTER: Aging for 10 years on the shores of Lochindaal has had a profound effect on this spirit. Like sunshine on a winter’s day, this Port Charlotte 10 brings clarity and lightens the mood, welcoming and brightening the future.
In anticipation of the launch of Port Charlotte 10 in South Africa, Bruichladdich gave some of the country’s finest bartenders the opportunity to chat to two very special individuals at the distillery.
Ailsa and Graham Hayes are South African expats who live on the Scottish island of Islay, the home of Bruichladdich. They work at the distillery and are part of the passionate team who pour their hearts and souls into the production of their beloved Bruichladdich single malts.
INTERVIEW: Michael Stephenson (owner and bartender of Lucky Shaker bar in Durban, SA) sent over a couple of questions for Graham Hayes, Stillman at Bruichladdich Distillery.
- What is your favourite thing about working at the Bruichladdich distillery? The history of this beautiful place, as well as the old equipment that we get to use in the distillation process.
- What South African food/ingredient/fruit/vegetable do you miss the most? I miss a good braai with friends. Other than that, I miss avocados, oranges from the farm and homemade springbok biltong.
- What is your favourite Scottish delicacy? Haggis.
- What is a must-see place for anyone travelling to Scotland? Corryvreckan Whirlpool is a magical place to visit and I highly recommend it.
- What is a must-see place for anyone travelling to South Africa? Namaqualand in bloom is definitely a must see for anyone travelling to South Africa.
- Name the three most prominent flavours or aromas you get from Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10-year-old? I get hints of banana, citrus and an earthy oak taste.
- What aroma reminds you of the distillery? When I’m in South Africa the smell of wood fire always reminds me of the Bruichladdich distillery.
- What makes Bruichladdich whisky so unique? The people and it’s old style of craftsmanship. Everyone who works at the distillery is really proud to be a part of this brand and its legacy.
- What would be your ideal location to drink a dram of the Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10-year-old? At home in front of a fire or fishing on the banks of the Kariega River with a braai going in the background.
- How would you describe peated whisky to someone who’s never tried it before? Peated whisky tastes like a liquid bushfire but once it settles, the flavours explode.
STILL HOUSE SOUR
- 35 ml Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10-Year-Old
- 10 ml tawny port
- 20 ml orange syrup
- 20 ml lemon juice
- 5 ml orange juice
- 20 ml stout reduction
- 25 ml whey/egg white
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Method: Shake all ingredients together and fine strain into a chilled glass
Garnish: Dehydrated lemon and Port Charlotte 10-Year-Old spritz