Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte brand recently dropped a new edition in its “cask exploration” series, and like many the cask in question involves red Bordeaux wine. Specifically, PAC:01 spends time in barrels from the Pauillac region.
The heavily peated whisky was distilled on Islay in 2011 and it carries an 8 year old age statement, indicating it was actually bottled in 2019. Two parcels were used to create the finished whiskey. Parcel 1 spent 6 years in 1st fill bourbon tasks, then 2 years in 1st fill Pauillac casks. Parcel 2 spent 7 years in 1st fill bourbon casks, then the remainder of its life (about 1 year) in 2nd fill Pauillac casks.
Now Port Charlotte is never a shy whisky, and PAC:01 is no exception. An outstanding, overwhelming peat smoke note is immediately evident on the nose, offering a mix of maritime, iodine, and wood fire notes. A citrus peel nuance is nonetheless evident despite this aggressive attack — and it’s much more present on the tongue, where a variety of fruit notes immediately pop. Cherries, peaches, and that orange element are all lively here, though most have the impression of being well-charred over a peat fire. Subtle it’s not, with an intense seaweed and beach bonfire character on the finish, albeit filtered slightly through that ever-present citrus character. Altogether it’s a full-flavored experience albeit a bit one note in comparison to some of the prior bottlings in the series.
B+ / $130