A couple of miles down the road from Bruichladdich lies the Port Charlotte distillery. As the ‘Lochindaal’ distillery, it ran from 1829 until 1929 before closing down. However, the folks at Bruichladdich acquired it in 2003 and started distilling peated whisky there (Bruichladdich, sans the Octomore, produces largely unpeated and rather exquisite stuff). They’ve been drip-feeding fans with various iterations of the Port Charlotte single malt whisky, PC5 through to PC9, and now the multi-vintage An Turas Mor – Gaelic for ‘The Great Journey’.
Colour: sunlight over a field of barley. On the nose: that gentle peat fire, earthy and coastal and rather creamy, perhaps vaguely citrusy. Nutmeg. Very aromatic.
In the mouth: again, such balance, such a gentle nature. The fires are still there, but there’s some interplay between that and the bold notes of malted barely. Spices. It’s not over the top in complexity, this is a young-ish whisky which is a lot of zippy fun, with sweetness and pepper, a hint of cinnamon, and it still possesses that miraculous and unique Bruichladdich velvety mouth sensation. That’s very pleasant indeed. I don’t know what the secret is – the stills perhaps? Swirl it around the glass and you can see the beads of whisky sliding slowly down – indicating the oils within, the quality of this dram.
Port Charlotte An Turas Mor is a gentle giant. If this is any indication of what the final releases will be like, then oh my…