We’re now a quarter of the way through the 2017 Boutique-y Advent calendar, and door number 6 offers us some heavy peat in form of Port Charlotte. This is batch number 4 (batch 3 seemingly has been and gone and we missed it?!) and is bottled at 53.2%.
Nose: Peaty and meaty. Bacon and bacon crisps (Walkers Frazzles) sit alongside toasted golden malts, burnt pine needles, earthy soils and hazelnuts. Peat smoke is tarry, rubbery and a touch BBQ whilst at the same time full of fresh maritime air. The addition of water is taming – reducing both the peat and meat but it also adds an odd metallic note and even some bromine. Not sure how I feel about that outside of a hot-tub.
Taste: Less punchy that one might expect at the delivery, but still full-bodied and slightly oily. Citrus and lime juice lead off, and are swiftly followed salted caramel and honey adding sweetness. Peat is never too far behind and brings with it BBQ sauce, smoked bacon, bonfire embers and a solid medicinal hit towards the rear palate. Water lessens the impact of many the flavours, and whilst adding a bit of fruity syrupiness and some sootiness, doesn’t to my palate offer meaningful enhancement.
Finish: Long with burning embers and a hint of chilli.
Port Charlotte 13 year old Batch 4 is bold, meaty and peaty. If you’re peat adverse this one is certainly not going to convince you otherwise, but if you enjoy something with real body and punch this will be right up your alley. Personally I’d not add water to it – indeed the bromine aroma which develops on the nose is slightly chemically and frankly not all that pleasant to my taste – but I’ll happily enjoy the rest of this au naturale.