Whisky Review – Port Charlotte Islay Barley (Bruichladdich)

Port Charlotte Islay Barley (Bruichladdich)
50% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No added Colouring
£51 available from Whisky Galore at the Green Welly Stop

I’ve had a cold for what feels like a lifetime and not really been up for reviewing whisky, so this has been on the back burner for a while. I’m finally more than happy to try again with rejuvenated sinuses on something I’ve been looking forward to spend some time with since first trying it at the whisky show back in October, with the lovely Joanne Brown from Bruichladdich.


There are bellows of thick smoke coming from my glass, bonfire in nature, with touches of barbecued sticky ribs in the foreground. With some complex background notes, of vanilla, heather, dunnage warehouse, mineral chalky elements and some damp oak (a good thing). More time in the glass and we get sweeter grass, hay and some light runny honey. The nose doesn’t have the bite of a 50% whisky, and is very sniffable. More time in the glass and we’re back to barbecues and meat soaking in sauce. Sticky.


The arrival comes sweet and sour with some salt. Development goes into some big vanilla and oak smoke sweetness, heather honey and some juicy raisin. The mouthfeel is immense and silky. The strength does not come through heavy or with burn, it is very smooth and easy going. The barley oils very prominent. Lush.


The sweet BBQ sauces on thick back bacon bacon are here, smokey and delicious. It’s a medium to long finish, a fine tasty one with some light salty elements amongst the meatiness making you want to return to the glass with haste. The warm hugging heat is on the chest and relaxing. Good stuff.

Adding water.

A few drops added. Heather fields on fire. The nose is more floral in the front now with the smoke still very prominent. There is more vanilla, actually more of everything and intensely so. We have the addition of fruit in the background, soft melon, ripe banana, apples and apricot. The palate reflects these changes, very juicy, lots of fruit now in the mix, the smokey barbecue is slightly weakened, the addition of the fruit now is really quite special and there is tonnes going on, very complex. The mouthfeel still massive. The finish is a fruity mass of BBQ goodness, with a touch of added oak tannins right in the finale. Water is needed to make this dram more special than it already is undiluted.


A warming dram for a winters evening in front of the tv or with friends. This is some gorgeous stuff. It’s youth isn’t apparent to me, it’s very quaffable and the quality shows. When water is added magic occurs. Some seriously fruity smokey stuff going on.

Great thanks to Bruichladdich for providing the review sample.