Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014
Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014 embodies everything an Islay whisky can and should be. As well as adding complexity and depth to this single malt, the Islay grown barley goes beyond just the pursuit of flavour – evoking a true sense of place.
The barley harvest for this 2014 vintage was raised by eight local farmers on Islay; Craig Archibald at Craigens, Ian McKerrell at Island Farm, Raymond Fletcher at Dunlossit, Andrew Jones at Coull, Mark French at Rockside, Raymond Stewart at Sunderland and Islay Estates at Mulindry. These farming partnerships not only help to develop new soil-improving practices and encourage crop diversification but help support the island’s integral agricultural community.
Bottled at 50% ABV and peated to 40 PPM, the maturation profile consists of 84% in first fill bourbon casks, 8% in second fill Virgin oak and 8% in second fill Bordeaux wine casks. With notes of malty digestive biscuits and peat paving the way for a sweet medley of apricot, peach and ripe melon, this 2014 release holds fruit and smoke in perfect balance.
Character: With a quiet complexity, Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2014 showcases the delicate balance of fruit and smoke which the single malt is renowned for.
Color: Light Amber
Nose: Malty digestive biscuits and peat embers open on the nose, followed by sweet vanilla and notes of honey, toffee and Crème Brûlée. As the whisky breathes its fruity character comes to the fore, with lemon rind and peat smoke rising from the glass, moving to grapefruit, ripe melon, peach and crisp red apple. Port Charlotte’s signature maritime note is offset with a touch of wood spice, nutmeg and cinnamon, showcasing the depth and complexity of this single malt.
Palate: An initial citrus tang is followed by sweet ripe fruit and gentle peat smoke. A subtle marine character comes through, with this sandy minerality complemented with toasted oak. On a second sip, the balance of fruit and smoke is unmistaken, with a medley of apricot, peach and ripe melon delicately wrapped in charred heather and peat embers. The maturation in American bourbon barrels brings lightly toasted oak notes, with a hint of coconut, creamy marzipan and tobacco.
Finish: Soft stoned fruit and toasted oak sweetness leave a beautifully balanced finish, while a subtle, dry barbeque smoke lingers.