Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced
Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced
Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced
Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced
Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced
Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced
Port Charlotte 2001  - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced

Port Charlotte 2001 - 21 Year Old only 259 bottles produced

VAT included

Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 21 Years Aged In A Rum Barrel

Spirit strength: 48.7%
Distilled: 18/07/2001
Bottle size: 700ml
Distillery: Bruichladdich
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Sku: 004
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Tasting Notes

Cask Type


In 1885-6, when legendary writer on whisky Alfred Barnard visited Lochindaal at Port Charlotte on Islay as part of his marathon tour, he remarked on the "old-fashioned" distillery, and the fact that only peat was used to fire the stills which were producing a prodigious 125,000 gallons of spirit a year. Certainly contemporary photographs in the Islay Museum of History show huge piles of peat standing outside the distillery buildings.

Founded in 1829, one of many distilleries to be launched on the island around this time, transforming the working lives of many inhabitants from subsistence farming to paid jobs, Lochindaal existed for exactly 100 years before a combination of the Great Depression, prohibition in America and over-production in Scotland caused its closure. It later re-opened and passed from owner to owner, before production was moved a mile or two along the bay to Bruichladdich and was re-named Port Charlotte.

We at Vintage Bottlers are especially proud to be able to offer a 2001 Port Charlotte matured entirely in a single rum barrel, bottled at 48.7% ABV. This being the very first year of production of the new rendition of this superb malt whisky.

The light straw colour gives no indication of the myriad and varied taste pleasures that are to come. Matured in rum barrels, an initial hint of that spirit is quickly fused with dry peat smoke laced through with a sharp hint of citrus. And then the distinctive Islay iodine kicks in, betraying its seaside provenance and the briny Atlantic winds that have caressed the spirit over 21 years. There is a strong background of toasted oats, and with every sip, that earthy base that comes from a malt with a peat level of 40 ppm. The finish is long and smooth and smoky, calling to mind a favourite briar pipe that has long been allowed to go out.

For many generations, Islay malts have had an immense, worldwide fan club among those who prefer their whisky peat-laden, complex and serious. Our 2001 Port Charlotte is at once both an archetypal and an exceptional example of the genre. Superbly balanced, of great depth and hugely satisfying, the darts of orange and lemon zest that surprise the taste buds from beginning to end are a marvellous counterpoint to the smokiness.

Colour: Pale gold

Nose: A waft of aromatic woodsmoke, some herbal notes, a little menthol and medicinal peat arrive first, with a touch of cocoa-heavy chocolate and stewed, spiced apple. Very upfront and savoury, with a nicely balanced sweetness.

Palate: An oily and viscous mouthfeel, with the spiced apple strudel, a waft of lemon zest, some cracked black pepper and more of the herbal, aromatic smoke. The peat is very well balanced and zingy. With the addition of water, the influence of the rum cask begins to come alive, with some barbecued sweet potato and banana, a well-rounded sweetness and a distinct molasses-led depth, coating the palate.

Finish: Long lasting and smoky, with a slight charred oak note and herbal savouriness.

Overall comment: Very distinct and complex, this showcases the uniqueness of Islay’s Port Charlotte distillery, but also gives it a Caribbean-led vibrancy too. A cracker of a cask.

By Neil Ridley, Drinks Writer and Presenter on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch

Colour: Fresh straw.

Nose: Huge medicinal iodine assault on the olfactory sense, leaving no doubt as to this malt’s Provenance.

Palate: Rich forest honey quickly gives way to warm wood smoke and rich, dark peat. A luscious blend of sweet and savoury.

Finish: A dry, smoky finish with just a suggestion of autumn berries.

Overall comment: A majestic, towering example of the best of Islay. A maritime malt for those who enjoy big, salty flavours. This is a deeply satisfying whisky, one whose reputation will surely grow and grow. Another sample please!

By Gordon Coxhill, Whisky Enthusiast & Journalist

Bruichladdich Distillery
Isle of Islay
PA49 7UN

Single Rum Barrel