Port Charlotte PC8 (OB)

Bold Strokes from Islay


Time to re-taste an old classic from the Bruichladdich stable: tonight’s entertainment is brought to you straight from the shores of Loch Indaal. And it brings back with it quite a few good memories.
I bought a 10cl sample back in early 2012 going by a few good online reviews. This was the second Port Charlotte I ever tasted and as I was still relatively unfamiliar with single malt whisky back then it simply blew me away. Looking back now, the PC8 has become somewhat of a cult classic that has gained quite a following. Some even hail it as Port Charlotte’s best release ever.

Matured in American Oak and bottled at a whopping 60.5% ABV (that’s impressive for an official bottling)

pclob.08yoNose: It has that dusty scent of an old grainery, like a malting floor with fermenting barley, with soft notes of linseed, iodine and peat smoke seeping through.

Mouth: The same powerful attack that you would expect from an octomore. Briny on the body with a rain of hot ash and soot on the palate. A touch of mint and ginger in the underlying layer.

Finish: Takes some time to kick in, but is long and satisfying. Soft notes of liquorice and salty lemon,  with some wood polish, and peat & tar in the tail.

The Verdict


It took me right back to the shores of Islay, at the smoking kilns of Laphroaig where I got a taste of some freshly peat smoked barley. Overall this it doesn’t bear the signature of a complex and rich whisky: no hidden layers of fruity esters, no  water-induced transformations. It just paints the story of Islay in bold strokes.
Throughout the whole distillation and maturation process little to no new flavours were added. The profile of the nose says it all: barley, smoke and peat, all this whisky needed to be splendid. Thumbs up.