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Bruichladdich’s New Port Charlotte Whisky Is the Oldest Version of This Peaty Single Malt Yet

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Islay distillery Bruichladdich recently launched its Luxury Redefined range, a pair of 18 and 30-year-old single malts that marked its return to older age statements. Now the distillery has added an 18-year-old expression from its smoky Port Charlotte line to the portfolio, the oldest to date from this heavily peated series whiskies.

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The core expression from Bruichladdich, the Classic Laddie, is an unpeated whisky. But the distillery also famously produces intensely smoky single malts, the most notable of which is the annual Octomore series. The Port Charlotte lineup, which launched in 2001, is not quite as heavily peated as Octomore but still packs a punch with a phenol level of about 40 parts per million. The core expressions include a 10-year-old single malt and a few vintages that are distilled strictly from barley grown on Islay.

Add Port Charlotte 18 Year Old to the mix, a single malt bottled at 40ppm and cask strength of 54.3 percent ABV. The whisky was distilled in 2004 from a mashbill of 100 percent Scottish malted barley and matured in two types of barrels—74 percent in refill sherry casks and 26 percent in refill French oak wine casks. It is un-chill filtered and no color added. We did not get to sample this new expression, but official tasting notes include cinnamon, gingerbread, orange, smoked grain, peat-infused scones, and smoked popcorn on the palate. “As the oldest expression of Port Charlotte released to date, this 18-year-old retains the classic vibrancy of our heavily peated Islay single malt, but with added complexity from the influence of the refill sherry and wine casks,” said head distiller Adam Hannett in a statement. “This decadent bottling of Port Charlotte is a unique and truly unforgettable whisky.”

In other news, Bruichladdich has made sustainability a focus in regards to its packaging over the past year, and has completely redesigned The Classic Laddie bottle. Gone is the tin tube that the bottle once came in, and the glass is now made from 60 percent recycled glass—steps that the distillery says has reduced its carbon footprint by about 65 percent.

The new Port Charlotte 18 Year Old (SRP $200) is limited to a run of 6,000 bottles, but you can find one available to purchase now from ReserveBar, along with the rest of the Bruichladdich lineup.

$215

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