Port Charlotte 2011 PAC:01 Single Malt Scotch
The latest in Bruichladdich's Cask Exploration series of heavily peated Islay single malt, the Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011 demonstrates the versatility of classic, soft, barbecue smokey Scotch in the highest quality French oak casks. Two parcels of Scottish barley distilled spirit have matured for a minimum of six years in ex-Amerian oak casks before being transferred to red wine casks from the Gironde left bank, north of Bordeaux. Bottled at 56.1% abv, this spirit showcases stunning spice and fruit notes.
On the nose you'll find lots of fresh fruit mingling with the dry peat smoke to entice you into the dram; from the oak comes spices – cloves, ginger and cassia, along with chocolate, toasted malt with toffee, brown sugar and delicate coconut and vanilla notes. As you nose again, the fruit notes of both the spirit and the wood come together – melon and citrus from the spirit and dried plums and raisin from the cask. The earthy peat smoke wraps around the fruit and spice and holds everything together, highlighting the wonderful marine and ozone notes that breeze through the dram.
As the first drop touches your tongue, a wave of flavours sweep across the palate, the sweetness from the oak and malt lead, followed by the smoke, citrus and dried fruit notes. Another sip helps to order the flavours, and you find the oak notes, the dried fruit, marzipan and spice. Caramel and chocolate notes emerge alongside the peat smoke with its earthy richness. A little water opens the citrus fruit and marine elements and brings out a little more of the coconut and vanilla notes from the oak. The structure on the palate is firm and round and balances the depth of this whisky.
The peat smoke comes through on the finish with a more medicinal phenol style. Coconut and floral notes waver, and a saline marine element combines with the earthy smoke in the classic Port Charlotte style. The oak’s softness and the minerality of the spirit become wrapped in smoke, a familiar signature to this dram.