The ‘Islay Barley Story’ began in 2004 with a single farmer. As time went by the initiative developed into a rhythm with roughly 19 farmers participating in the project.
Port Charlotte Islay Barley was introduced in 2014 and new vintages have been released ever since. The distillery was able to get commitment from 19 local farmers to grow barley exclusively for the project. The 2012 Vintage was distilled from Oxbridge, Concerto, Propino and Publican varieties harvested the year before from eight Islay farms: Dunlossit, Sunderland, Cruach, Starchmill, Coull, Rockside, Mulindry and Island Farm and malted to specification of 40ppm. The majority of spirit (75%) was aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels, while the remaining 25% in refill ex-red wine casks. Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012 was bottled at 50% abv and without chill-filtration in 2018.
Nose: sea breeze and peat smoke, lemons, grapefruits, apples, pears, gooseberries, coconut flakes, vanilla, milk chocolate and touch of geranium.
Palate: soft, honey, vanilla, milk chocolate, green apples, pears, peaches, quince jelly, lemon pepper, sea breeze and whiffs of peat smoke.
Finish: fairly long, with notes of peat smoke, vanilla, coconut flakes, salted nuts, hints of hay and oak.