Normally around these parts the domain of consideration for Bruichladdich rests in the hands of our intrepid editor-in-chief/fearless leader. So when there is a Laddie not covered in our portfolio, one jumps at the opportunity to make their feelings known.
This time around we have Port Charlotte OLC:01, a member of the distillery’s venerable Cask Exploration series. Like so many single malts these days, the maturation process is elaborate: ex-bourbon, ex-Syrah, and ex-Vin du Naturel in the initial stages before meeting its final destination in Bodega Fernando de Castilla oloroso sherry hogsheads, with a total aging time of about 9 years.
Surprisingly, there is no immediate blast of peat smoke normally associated with Port Charlotte expressions, it becomes more of a gradual reveal on the nose as it rests in the glass and mixes with sea salt, dried fig, and lemon. The citrus and fig really hit hard on the palate along with more coastal notes of brine, but the sherry yet again adds more character and faint sweetness. The brine notes fade a bit with a few drops of water.
It is quite excellent but most definitely a Port Charlotte for brand loyalists, as newcomers may leave with a skewed impression of PC’s wonderful brilliance when firing on all its peat-fueled cylinders.
A- / $120