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Port Charlotte revamped by Bruichladdich

Port Charlotte has been relaunched by the Rémy Cointreau-owned Bruichladdich Distillery, including a range of new packaging.

Fans of the Islay malt can be assured that the style of the spirit remains unchanged. Malting as before to a heavyweight 40ppm, the distillery will release four new products in 2018.

The first of these is the return of Port Charlotte 10. Previously available only in limited quantities, the move marks the first permanent release of this aged-stated spirit in the brand’s history. This new bottling will replace the current multi-vintage cuvée, Port Charlotte Scottish Barley, and will be available in 70/75cl for domestic markets and in 1 litre format for travel retail.

Port Charlotte 10 is bottled at 50% ABV and as with all Bruichladdich Distillery malts, is distilled using 100% Scottish barley.

A new vintage of Port Charlotte Islay barley will also join the line-up. The 2011 vintage is distilled from harvests on three Islay farms; by Raymond Fletcher at Dunlossit, Raymond Stewart at Sunderland and Neil McLellan at Kilchiaran.
Bruichladdich’s director of distilling and head of operations, Allan Logan, is now working in partnership with 17 farmers across the island, all of which grow malting barley for the distillery, despite the challenges of the Islay climate. This 2011 vintage is the second heavily-peated offering from their uber-provenance “Islay barley” stable.

Concluding the quartet are two cask exploration, cask strength, limited editions. One each for domestic and travel retail. Joining Port Charlotte 10 and the 2011 Islay Barley for domestic markets, is the codified and limited Port Charlotte MRC: 01. Distilled from Scottish barley in 2010, MRC:01 is matured in the finest oak casks from the Bordeaux left bank. Bottled at 59.2% ABV, Hannett describes it as a superb combination of fruit-laden French oak, strong peat smoke and Islay maturation.

Releasing at the same time but exclusively for travel retail, is the codified and limited MC:01. This 2009 vintage was distilled from Scottish barley and matured in Marsala casks. Both MRC:01 and MC:01 will be released in the autumn of 2018.

All four spirits will be introduced in a bespoke bottle. The opaque green glass is a nod to the heavily-peated “Islay” category, while the modernist design reflects the values of the distillery.

On their philosophy, bold statements are made of being the first major distiller to conceive, distil, mature and bottle on the island. Hannett explains the distillery’s approach: “There’s nothing made up here. There are no tall tales of illicit distillation or local legends. This is about the actual provenance of the spirit in the bottle.”

Bruichladdich Distillery CEO Douglas Taylor says: “Our distillery project is built around certain key principles which drive everything we do. The authenticity, provenance and transparency of our spirit is paramount. We are committed to source 100 per cent of our barley from Scotland, 33 per cent of which is now grown on Islay. We have reintroduced ancient varietals and experimented with regionality for texture and flavour. All our whiskies are conceived, distilled, matured and bottled on Islay, unchill-filtered and colouring free, using Islay spring water.

“We are committed to our community. We aim to be Islay-centric in everything we do and care about the positive economic and social impact our business has on the island. Over time we have become the biggest private employer on Islay; made possible because we are mature and bottle all our whiskies here. This vision has resulted in direct employment for 76 people at the distillery, with countless more involved through partnerships.

“Ultimately, we are a collective of like-minded people, passionate about this island and the single malt whisky we make here”.

12 May 2018 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor