It wasn't too long ago that Rémy Cointreau Malaysia unveiled the much-awaited Port Charlotte 10 at The Bindery @ APW Bangsar. Acquired by Bruichladdich in 2007, Port Charlotte is a heavily peated whisky that boasts an impressive 40ppm (phenol parts per million). To put things in context, Bruichladdich’s legendary and very peaty Octomore 6.3 is at 258ppm.
Made in the second smallest distillery in Islay, Port Charlotte’s single malts are distilled in tall, narrow-necked stills to create a rich and powerfully peaty spirit. It is then matured in warehouses on the banks of Loch Indaal, allowing the sea air and Scotland’s ever-changing west coast weather to flavour the casks.
Port Charlotte’s new offering comes complete in a new green opaque glass bottle, a distinctive design that would definitely stand out in a bar. At the launch, guests had the opportunity to taste four Port Charlotte whiskies including the new 10 Year Old. To complement the whiskies were scrumptious burgers, Botanist gin cocktails, oysters and much more.
But for connoisseurs who’d like to up the pairing ante to bold, new levels, consider these luxurious Scottish properties to truly make it a coupling to remember. Slàinte mhath!
Port Charlotte 10 x Inverlochy Castle Hotel
The 10 YO is a light and smooth dram that goes down easy in spite of the high ppm. This single malt is made up of 65% first fill American whisky casks, 10% second fill American whisky casks and 25% second fill French wine casks. Although it has a strong smoky nose reminiscent of caramel, this whisky has a sweet palate, with hints of vanilla, ginger and coconut. It feels layered, as though each sip has a different level of smokiness, making it equal parts complex and mellow.
This well-aged single malt should be enjoyed while holidaying at Inverlochy Castle Hotel, a stunning 19th-century castle three miles from Fort William. Located at the foothills of Ben Nevis, this retreat is nestled in romantic countryside, including the grand Glencoe Mountains and the falls at Glen Nevis. Other than the verdant scenery, guests can indulge in the culinary delights at the castle’s Albert and Michel Roux Jr restaurant, which serves British cuisine with French influences. Pair your sumptuous meal with a glass of Port Charlotte 10, naturally.
Islay Barley 2011 x Hebridean Huts
Created mostly with first fill American whisky casks — with 25% second fill wine casks — this single malt really shows Port Charlotte’s commitment to its local farmers as it is made with 100% Islay barley. This spirit is intensely peaty, with flavours of salted caramel and apple sauce, evocative of bonfires and driftwood.
As such, sip this smoky spirit while glamping at the Hebridean Huts, luxury eco-huts on the Isle of Lewis. Each hut is equipped to keep you warm and snug in the chilly weather and includes a kitchen area kitted out with all the essentials, including handmade stoneware crockery and wine goblets from local potters, Borgh Pottery. Guests also have access to the Grillikota Barbecue Hut — a fairytale-like cottage that has everything you will need for an unforgettable barbeque by the Atlantic Ocean.
MRC:01 2010 x Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa
Reminiscent of honey, vanilla and maple syrup, the MRC:01 2010 has a powerfully peaty nose that is quite sharp at first. Half first fill American casks and half second fill French wine casks, this liquid is vatted and ACEd in MR casks for an entire year (ACE stands for additional cask enhancement). With a few drops of water, this whisky really opens up with fruity and oaky notes.
As this single malt would go well while relaxing in front of a view or after an adventure, give Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa in Pitlochry a go. This five-star accommodation boasts contemporary suites, including an extravagant penthouse. Go for a boat tour through Loch Tay, have the hotel organise a helicopter flight with Heli Air or relax and rejuvenate at the in-house spa.
MC: 01 2009 x Douneside House
This special Scotch is Port Charlotte’s first-ever Marsala edition, vatted and ACEd in Marsala casks for two years. This 2009 vintage is only available in duty-free shops. The MC:01 smells like cloves, warmed peaches and oak. The first sip has a velvety heat, with hints of spice. A little bit of water reveals a nutty flavour and a fruity sweetness.
As this whisky is the perfect drink after a brisk walk or while reading a good book, pour yourself a glass at Douneside House in Aberdeenshire. Steeped in history, this house merges the old and new with antique furniture and contemporary amenities. Indulge in one of the elegantly furnished bedrooms or, for more privacy, opt for one of the many holiday cottages. Guests can spend their day hiking in the surrounding hills, fishing, unwinding in the steam room or sauna, or curling up with a book in front of the fireplace in the library.
This article first appeared on Apr 29, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia.