Port Charlotte single malt fully embodies the essence of its island home of the whisky-famous Isle of Islay. Conventional in flavour profile for that region but not in process, Port Charlotte has encapsulated the very heart of the passion projects within the local community–encompassing everything that an Islay single malt can and should be.

In 2004, the principals at Bruichladdich would convince their first growing partner to sowmalting barleyon the island. This first pioneer would go on to inspire a flood of farmers to join the project, with an average of 18 growers now harvesting between 40-50% of the distillery’s annual requirements within 10miles(as the crow flies)of where it’s then milled, mashed, distilled, matured and bottled.

Growing barley on Islay is no easy task. Betweentorrential rain, wild Atlantic winds and grazing geese, being part of the Islay barley project is a battle of wills. The hard labour has proved worthwhile for many, who have managed to diversify away from the island’s primary income of fishing and livestock farming. With the dairy industry long since crushed by the cost and convenience of supermarket produce, barley growing provides an opportunity to diversify and share in the spoils of a booming single malt industry.

While it is a proud moment for many, to raise a whisky that has the full involvement of the community, Islay grown barley has its flavour benefits too. Lashings of salt spray and a coastal maturation contribute a distinctive marine note to these single malts. Commenting on the new 2013 vintage of Concerto barley raised by seven farmers in 2012, Head Distiller Adam Hannett comments: “There is something magical about how the Islay grown barley holds the smoke back for a moment until releasing it dramatically on the finish.”

Tipped for release in August 2021, the Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2013 release is the fourth edition of heavily peated Islay-grown single malt released from the distillery. The farmers, Hunter Jackson, Iain McKerrell, Raymond Fletcher, Mark French, Alistair Torrance, Raymond Stewart and father & son team Donald and Andrew Jones have all worked with the distillery previously. Their wares would be trickle distilled through tall, narrow necked stills before being filled into first fill ex-bourbon casks. In its later years, 25% of the spirit would be recasked into first fill Pessac-Leognan French wine casks, adding fruit and spice notes.

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2013has been bottled unchillfiltered and colouring free at Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay, at 50% abv. It will replace the Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012 vintage alongside the permanent release of Port Charlotte 10 and the limited cask exploration release, currently Port Charlotte PAC:01 2011.

Bruichladdich Distillery is situated on the southwestern tip of the Hebridean island of Islay.
Bruichladdich Distillery distils four different spirits: •Bruichladdich, unpeated Islay single malt Scotch whisky •Port Charlotte, heavily peated Islay single malt Scotch whisky (40PPM) •Octomore, the world’s most heavily peated Scotch whisky series (80+PPM) •The Botanist Gin, the first Islay dry gin
The distillery was first established in 1881 by the Harvey brothers. It survived through periods of closure including world wars and economic uncertainly, only to be closed for 7 years in 1994. The closure left all but two redundant.
The distillery was reopened by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin and Jim McEwan in 2001. The team have breathed new life into the community by keeping as much of their operations on Islay as possible. They installed a bottling hall in 2003, first grew Islay barley in 2004 (now 45% of production) and have since added additional warehousing to ensure all single malts areconceived, distilled, matured and bottled on the island. They are one of only two distilleries on the island (9 total) to make those claims.
The independently owned Bruichladdich was purchased by Remy Cointreau in 2012. They continue to invest in the values of the business, inbeing Islay-based, and in the local community. In 2020, Bruichladdich became one of the only distilleries in the world to be B Corp certified. They are the first gin and whisky distillery in Europe, and one of three globally, to be recognised for balancing profit and purpose.
On the Port Charlotte range:
The current Port Charlotte range explores the influence of barley origin, cask exploration and the passing of time. The Port Charlotte Islay Barley2013will replace the Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012 along side the current Port Charlotte 10 and Port Charlotte PAC:01 listings.
Port Charlotte spirit was first distilled in 2001, when Bruichladdich Distillery was resurrected after seven years of closure. The single malt whisky is named after the village of Port Charlotte that lies two miles south of Bruichladdich.
As of August 2021, the makers of Port Charlotte remain the largest private employers on the island of Islay.98 permanent members of staff work between Islay and Glasgow, with 77 based on Islay and an age span of 21 –67. Of their senior management, 50% are female.

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