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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Port Charlotte 15 year old 2001 Dramfool, cask 0847

(Port Charlotte cluster homepage)

Continuing the series-within-a-series, I bring ye some more Dramfool Port Charlotte. On Monday I reviewed a 14 year old bold sherry cask Port Charlotte distilled in 2004. Today, I'll be consuming a 15 year old hoggie distilled in PC's rookie year of 2001. This time there's no booming fortified wine cask to distract from the spirit, and, judging from the color of the whisky, the oak influence could be moderate to low. Trying not to get my hopes WAY UP...

Sample posing on top of a box of venereal disease

Distillery: Bruichladdich
Brand: Port Charlotte
Ownership: Rémy Cointreau
Independent Bottler: Dramfool
Age: 15 years (2001 - 2016)
Maturation: bourbon hogshead
Cask #: 0847
Outturn: 195 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.3%
(from a bottle split)


Two types of notes perch side-by-side in the nose. Category 1: peat, wet sand, ocean and kiln. Category 2: Oranges, apple cider and brown sugar. The fruit drifts through the background, while kiln and ocean stay up front. The brown sugar and ocean notes do expand after 30+ minutes. Lemon candy appears after the whisky is reduced to 46%abv, joining the kiln + ocean character. Smaller notes of rope and metal develop as well.

The palate starts off hot and very nutty. Sugar and salt appear next. Smaller notes of metal and cured meat show up momentarily. It feels like a big Caol Ila. After 30+ minutes, it all simplifies to smoke and sugar. It gets saltier and bitterer (in a good way) at 46%abv. Some beachy smoke and citrus drift in. It gets sweeter, again, with time, but the bitterness keeps it in check, sort of a swirl of citrus types.

It finishes peaty, salty, slightly metallic and very sweet. At 46%abv, there's a mix of salt, sweet oranges and beachy smoke.


This Port Charlotte comes across so polite compared to Monday's fireworks. The 15yo is familiar and very good, yet also indistinguishable from other Islays (see the Caol Ila comment in the notes). On one hand that means Port Charlotte has joined its much older neighbors in style. On the other hand, it required dilution to make it more interesting, as it gains the citrus+beach note I so enjoy in Ardmore and (again) Caol Ila. For those of you who have a bottle, you may find the whisky improves with more or less water.

That was my first ever 15 year old Port Charlotte. On Friday, I'll try my first (but not last) 16 year old PC. Stay tuned...

Availability - 
Secondary market

Pricing - ???
Rating - 86 (when diluted)

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