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Scotch

Port Charlotte PMC:01

$149.99

OVERALL
RATING

7

Whisky Review: Port Charlotte PMC:01

Tasting Notes:

About:
Aged 9 years, in first fill Bourbon barrels the first four years and aged in Pomerol casks for the remaining 5; 109 Proof (54.5% ABV); $149.99.
Appearance:
Clear peach.
Nose:
s (and flavors) and find the sensation overwhelming, potentially even painful. Regardless of your personal preference, smoky Scotch whiskies are here to stay. The smoke in Scotch is part of a long tradition of using materials available in Scotland to make Scotch. Historically, Scotland had relatively few trees to dry barley with but there was a ton of peat. So, Scotch makers use peat moss to dry barley grain with smoke, giving it a distinctive “smoky” flavor. Given that it takes approximately 30 hours to dry barley, distillers have their own recipes to achieve a desired “peatiness”. Most Scotches that use peat are from the islands of Scotland, most prominently the Isle of Islay (pronounced “eye-la”), and include brands like Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and Bowmore, among others. Bruichladdich distillery is another well known Islay distillery and has three labels: Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte, and Octomore. The Port Charlotte label is named after a Islay distillery which existed 1829-1929, but is related in name only. The Bruchladdich line itself is unpeated, but don’t worry peat fans, the Port Charlotte is heavily peated and their Octomore is super-heavily peated, with the most intense being the Octomore 08.3 release, clocking in at 309 phenol parts per million (PPM). Phenols, generally, are the compounds that make whiskies smoky (yes, it’s more complicated, but I don’t have enough space to discuss the nuances) and usually the higher the PPM, the higher the smoke. As a point comparison to the Octomore, most strongly peated scotches have 40-60 PPM. The Port Charlotte PMC:01 is the latest of the Port Charlotte Cask Exploration series, which is in essence their experimental line. This release was aged in Pomerol casks, which is a French wine in Bordeaux. The company is not specific on the grape type, because this expression is about the location of the components, or “terroir”, as it “brings together two unique locales. This is a whisky which links flavour to land. A whiskey which speaks of a complex lineage. A whisky that is proud of where it’s from.” This expression has been aged for four years in first-fill ex-bourbon casks and then undergone an additional aging in the Pomerol casks for five years. The Port Charlotte is peated, as previously discussed, with this particular expression being 40ppm, putting it solidly in the “heavily peated” category. It is made from Scottish Concerto barley, which is the most ubiquitous variety, contributing to 80% of maltings in Scotland and 33% for brewing in England. We review Port Charlotte PMC-01, a heavily peated Scotch single malt aged for nine years, first in first fill bourbon barrels and then in Pomerol casks. (image via Bruichladdich) Tasting Notes: Port Charlotte PMC:01 Vital Stats: Aged 9 years, in first fill Bourbon barrels the first four years and aged in Pomerol casks for the remaining 5; 109 Proof (54.5% ABV); $149.99. Appearance: Clear peach. Nose: Frying bacon and damp tree-moss, hint of marine iodine, dark oak and walnuts.
Palate:
Pleasant dried fruit passes in a flash, rolling quickly into a deep dive of sulfur and wet soil. Smoke rolls around the palate, with slight chocolate sweetness and leather shining through. An equally smoky finish is furnished with carbolic soap and resin. like a smoker slow-cooking steak. However, the thickness comes at a cost, and that is the almost indiscernible notes of the Pomerol cask, which I may be juuuust tasting … or just telling myself I taste it. This is a great peat monster, but not so special as to distinguish it from the crowd. Sending User Review 0 (0 votes) Buy A Bottle Share: XFacebookLinkedInEmail Drinks Aizome Island – Tropical Style Minor Cobbler Strawberry Rhubarb Julep Crimson & Clover Club Wynken, Blynken, & Nog Related Articles Whiskey Review: Highline Triple Rye Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Highline Triple Rye Whiskey American / Reviews Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke American Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke American Whiskey American / Reviews Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.3 Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.3 Reviews / Scotch Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh 12 Years Old Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh 12 Years Old Reviews / Scotch Whiskey Review: Highline American Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Highline American Whiskey American / Reviews Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Rye Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Rye Whiskey American / Reviews Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2 Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 14.2 Reviews / Scotch Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh Sandend Editor’s Note: This whisky was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whisky Review: Glenglassaugh Sandend Reviews / Scotch Whiskey Review: Highline Straight Kentucky Whiskey Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Highline Straight Kentucky Whiskey American / Reviews Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Bourbon Editor’s Note: This whiskey was… READ ARTICLE ? about Whiskey Review: Savage & Cooke Bourbon Bourbon / Reviews Jeffrey Nitschke I am a Portland area attorney whose career has dovetailed with a love of fine spirits and cigars. With no formal training in the field, my own interest spurred a thorough education through books, articles, visits to distilleries all over the United States, and a few deep dives into Wikipedia…. More by Jeffrey Nitschke Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Connect with on on LinkedIn About Advertise Subscribe Editorial Standards Privacy Policy Terms of Use
Finish:
Comments:
For those who live and die by their peat, this is a purists delight. Thick and viscous, it envelopes the palate like a smoker slow-cooking steak. However, the thickness comes at a cost, and that is the almost indiscernible notes of the Pomerol cask, which I may be juuuust tasting … or just telling myself I taste it. This is a great peat monster, but not so special as to distinguish it from the crowd.

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs. 

Chances are if you aren’t into Scotch, you still have heard that it can be very smoky. In fact, it is the one thing everyone knows about scotch, usually mentioned in the same breath as telling me why they don’t want to try it. Yet, others that I know can’t get enough of it. Turns out, science can actually answer on why smoky whisky is so divisive

In some way, humans are programmed to like smoke. We’re the only mammal that often requires meat to be cooked to eat. Individual life experience can influence a person’s preference, as can genetics as there are those who are sensitive to detecting smoky aromas (and flavors) and find the sensation overwhelming, potentially even painful

Regardless of your personal preference, smoky Scotch whiskies are here to stay. The smoke in Scotch is part of a long tradition of using materials available in Scotland to make Scotch. Historically, Scotland had relatively few trees to dry barley with but there was a ton of peat. So, Scotch makers use peat moss to dry barley grain with smoke, giving it a distinctive “smoky” flavor. Given that it takes approximately 30 hours to dry barley, distillers have their own recipes to achieve a desired “peatiness”.

Most Scotches that use peat are from the islands of Scotland, most prominently the Isle of Islay (pronounced “eye-la”), and include brands like Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and Bowmore, among others. Bruichladdich distillery is another well known Islay distillery and has three labels: Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte, and Octomore.  The Port Charlotte label is named after a Islay distillery which existed 1829-1929, but is related in name only.

The Bruchladdich line itself is unpeated, but don’t worry peat fans, the Port Charlotte is heavily peated and their Octomore is super-heavily peated, with the most intense being the Octomore 08.3 release, clocking in at 309 phenol parts per million (PPM). Phenols, generally, are the compounds that make whiskies smoky (yes, it’s more complicated, but I don’t have enough space to discuss the nuances) and usually the higher the PPM, the higher the smoke. As a point comparison to the Octomore, most strongly peated scotches have 40-60 PPM. 

The Port Charlotte PMC:01 is the latest of the Port Charlotte Cask Exploration series, which is in essence their experimental line. This release was aged in Pomerol casks, which is a French wine in Bordeaux. The company is not specific on the grape type, because this expression is about the location of the components, or “terroir”, as it “brings together two unique locales. This is a whisky which links flavour to land. A whiskey which speaks of a complex lineage. A whisky that is proud of where it’s from.” 

This expression has been aged for four years in first-fill ex-bourbon casks and then undergone an additional aging in the Pomerol casks for five years. The Port Charlotte is peated, as previously discussed, with this particular expression being 40ppm, putting it solidly in the “heavily peated” category. It is made from Scottish Concerto barley, which is the most ubiquitous variety, contributing to 80% of maltings in Scotland and 33% for brewing in England. 

Port Charlotte PMC-01 review
We review Port Charlotte PMC-01, a heavily peated Scotch single malt aged for nine years, first in first fill bourbon barrels and then in Pomerol casks. (image via Bruichladdich)

Tasting Notes: Port Charlotte PMC:01

Vital Stats: Aged 9 years, in first fill Bourbon barrels the first four years and aged in Pomerol casks for the remaining 5; 109 Proof (54.5% ABV); $149.99. 

Appearance: Clear peach. 

Nose: Frying bacon and damp tree-moss, hint of marine iodine, dark oak and walnuts. 

Palate: Pleasant dried fruit passes in a flash, rolling quickly into a deep dive of sulfur and wet soil. Smoke rolls around the palate, with slight chocolate sweetness and leather shining through. An equally smoky finish is furnished with carbolic soap and resin.  

Jeffrey Nitschke

I am a Portland area attorney whose career has dovetailed with a love of fine spirits and cigars. With no formal training in the field, my own interest spurred a thorough education through books, articles, visits to distilleries all over the United States, and a few deep dives into Wikipedia. Outside of my career and ever escalating pursuit of good whiskey, I can be found enjoying CrossFit, gardening, and playing music.

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