Port Charlotte 20 Year 2002/2022 Fèis Ìle Bourbon Cask #86 57.9% for Dramfool

Nose: Camping should smell this good. A gentle haze of smoke from a sage brush and old oak fire from a few miles upwind. My parents used to drive us from Los Angeles, through Death Valley and up into the mountains where we would camp by a river. This was back in the days before you had to stay in an assigned spot. It was usually searing hot and we’d spend days building dams, fishing and drifting in the water. I can still smell the hot stones on sandy soil. Roasted trout with sea salt. Wild flower honey.

Palate: Holy shitballs, that is delicious. We had dinner with business partners last night and my favorite dish, which everyone else hated, was a grilled and smoked head of lettuce with candied strawberries, tiny crisped anchovies and a drizzle of sweet cream. The sweet, the salt and the creaminess pair sublimely. Salted toffee. While the peat is the star, and the under study, I like the granny smith apple peel vibe.

Rating: 7 / 10 – As Port Charlotte gets older, I keep expecting the peat to mellow, but it just seems to integrate better over time. I love the way it dances with the bourbon sweetness. I do wish it had an extra note or character to bring deeper complexity, as in some ways for my palate, it is almost too pretty. I know, it’s weird complaining because the pour has nailed a perfect note. I can’t wait to try its sister cask.