Top 20 Whiskies of 2018

#4 • Port Charlotte 10 year old

  • Rank: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • Score: 93
  • Price: $65
  • ABV: 50%
  • Style: Single malt
  • Place of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

After many limited releases, we finally have a permanent age-statement expression of Port Charlotte, with a satisfying number of years under its belt. Distilled from Scottish-grown barley, it is matured predominantly in first-fill American oak casks, along with second-fill American and second-fill French wine casks. It is peated to 40ppm, in line with other Islay heavy-hitters, but the peat is never a blunt instrument, retaining sufficient restraint to allow other characteristics—maritime notes, the sweetness of caramel, coconut, and orchard fruits—to shine through. —Gavin D Smith