Friday 11 November 2016 Port Charlotte 12 Year Old

YouTube superstar Ralfy popped into the shop to say hello, and very kindly shared a delicious peaty dram with us.

It's a private cask of Port Charlotte, bottled to mark the achievement of a new world record at Bonneville this September past, vintage motorcycles being Ralfy's other obsession.

Ralfy has picked a fantastic cask to bottle, the kind of clean, fresh ex-sherry cask which adds so much to a whisky without dominating the spirit character.

The nose is salty and rich and slightly waxy. There's the characteristic sherry cask chocolate note which to me is always reminiscent of cheap instant chocolate pudding - you know, Angel Delight or Miracle Whip or similar. There's also just enough old cask smell or fustiness. Not too much, just enough.

The palate is sweet and rounded and chocolatey, before evolving into a snuffed out candle smoke taste. Delicious.

It's a very, very fine Port Charlotte, by far the best I've yet tasted. Good work on securing that cask, Ralfy, and can I have some more please?

Postscript: A couple of days later I was talking to Ralfy again and he told me that, according to staff from Bruichladdich who were at Glasgow's Whisky Festival, some of these private casks of Port Charlotte were actually filled with Octomore (due to a shortage of PC spirit). Which might explain the intense peat character of this dram, coming as it does from a pretty active cask.