Port Charlotte unveils first 18 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky

Port Charlotte 18 Year Old is the oldest expression of the heavily-peated Islay single malt released to date.

Published 29th Feb 2024
Updated 29 th Feb 2024

Named after the village two miles south of Bruichladdich Distillery, Port Charlotte Islay single malt was first distilled in 2001. Now fans can enjoy the 18 year old whisky from Port Charlotte.

Laid down by the founders who resurrected the progressive Hebridean distillery the year prior, the latest release is a true coming of age bottling and the oldest expression of the heavily peated single malt Scotch whisky to be released to date.

Staying true to the classic vibrancy of the 40 PPM Port Charlotte spirit, the 18 Year Old expression has been influenced not only by its cask maturation profile, but its island locale and the passing of time, resulting in a complex single malt Scotch whisky.

The casks have matured exclusively on Islay for the entirety of their lifespan, and - like all Port Charlotte single malts - the latest release has been distilled and bottled solely on the island.

Head distiller, Adam Hannett, said: “This is a special moment in my career and it’s a privilege to finally share our Port Charlotte 18 Year Old with the world.

"This is the oldest expression of Port Charlotte we’ve released to date and it’s a real marker in time. It showcases how far the brand has come since its inception in 2001.

Port Charlotte 18 year old

"From uncertainty and the brink of closure, this spirit was laid down in 2004 while Bruichladdich Distillery found its feet, making its release today even more poignant.

“This is a whisky dedicated to our island and our community. For me, it’s everything an Islay whisky can and should be.

"So much has evolved and changed on our island while these casks have been quietly maturing in our warehouses, and this 18 Year Old pays homage to our past while looking ahead to the future.”

The spirit has matured in a combination of refill sherry casks (74%) and refill French oak wine casks (26%), with this specific maturation profile having a considerable influence on the final single malt.

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The marriage of casks brings a significant amount of dried fruit and sweetness to the whisky, while enhancing Port Charlotte’s signature barbeque peat smoke.

Tasting notes include: fig, sweet sultanas, and raisins immediately open on the nose, followed by gentle waves of burnt heather and cinder toffee.

Predominantly sweet and fruity on the palate, the influence of the oak brings toasted spices, cinnamon, and a hint of nutmeg, moving into peat infused scones, smoked popcorn, and salted caramel. Wood spices and a nutty salinity settle on the smooth, beautifully rounded finish, while soft and elegant peat smoke lingers.

Adam added: “Port Charlotte is a ‘typical’ Islay whisky in that it is heavily peated, but it is unlike anything else on the market.

“It is the truest expression of an Islay whisky, with everything – from the distillation through to maturation, and bottling – done on the island. This is a whisky about place. A spirit which embodies almost two decades of commitment to our island home.”

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Malted to 40 PPM and bottled at 54.3% AVB, the latest Port Charlotte 18 Year Old is a rare and limited release.

Priced at £175 Port Charlotte 18 Year Old is available to purchase now online and via select specialist retailers.

Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, UK
Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, UK
Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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