Dramfool 59th Release Port Charlotte 18yo & Dramfool 60th Release Port Charlotte 18yo


We’re ending the week with two sister casks… it’s a battle of bourbon and sherry Port Charlottes.

Dramfool 59th Release Port Charlotte 18yo

Region: Islay

ABV: 52.7%

Price: £245.00

Distilled 27th October 2004, this release spent its life maturing in a first fill bourbon barrel for 18 years before being bottled 3rd November 2022. 207 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose opens with notes of kelp, vanilla ice cream, tangerines and log burning fires. Coming back to it after 10 minutes reveals strawberry cheesecake, plasticine, rock salt, smoky cashew nuts, and a yeasty / bread note. It noses to us like it’s less than 52.7%, and shows a lot of promise.

Palate

Initially we’re getting cream buns, tangerines and a large hit of peat. It’s a little warm on the finish, but there’s also a nice mixture of the sweeter notes and peat that linger. We’re slight disappointed by the mouthfeel, but it’s a minor nitpick. Going back we’re getting saline solution, tobacco complete with cigarettes ash, sweet vanilla pod, creme caramel and panacotta. It’s nice, but just a touch one dimensional.

Nose (with water)

With reduction it's become quite musty. There’s also caramel syrup, warm plastic, grilled fruits, and double cream. The nose is still good, but it’s lost a fair amount of the smoke. Personally we prefer this pre dilution.

Palate (with water)

Like the nose the palate has lost some of the smoke. The water had reduced the heat and spice, while increasing the sweetness. Although it’s now more of a synthetic sweetness. There’s a nice hit of ginger spice on the finish. The nuttiness from the nose had appeared in the form of pistachios. The mouthfeel remains consistent. It’s also a till a touch hot for us.

Conclusion

We’re a little disappointed with this... it’s nice, but for the price we’d expect something a little more special. Don’t get us wrong if you're able to drop £245 on this then you’ve bought a good whisky, but if we’re spending that kinda cash we want more bang for our buck.

Score: 7/10


Dramfool 60th Release Port Charlotte 18yo

Region: Islay

ABV: 57.7%

Price: £295.00

Distilled 27th October 2004, this release spent its life maturing in a first fill Oloroso Sherry Hogshead for 18 years before being bottled 3rd November 2022. Just 227 bottles were released.

Nose

We’re getting lighter smoke here than we did on the other release, and along with it some dark chocolate coins, Islay costal breeze, and flat cola. Going back to it and we’re getting vinegar, hint of smoke/ash, and a mustiness like we’ve stuck our nose in a dusty wardrobe. Like the bourbon cask this is a really promising nose.

Palate

Again, this is a touch hot. There’s a hint of smoke in the background but the dram is dominated by the Sherry cask. We’re getting plenty of cola like the nose and along with it honey, brown sugar, Nutella and ash. We prefer the mouthfeel on this as it’s nice and oily. It’s got a good length finish with cinnamon and cardamom spice lingering.

Nose (with water)

We’re getting a little more of the smoke and a meatiness developing on the nose. There’s also some coffee, prunes, tobacco and crushed black pepper. There’s  some sweetness here in the form of figs, plums, and melted brown sugar.

Palate (with water)

Water dampens the spice but it’s still a touch too hot for us. It’s developed a nuttiness along with honey.. actually make that honey lockets with a slight mint note. There’s also prune juice, and burnt meats. We prefer the mouthfeel pre dilution. The finish remains a good length.

Conclusion

This is a drier sherry that lacks some of the the sweetness some people will want. While we prefer this to the bourbon cask, it’s still too expensive. With the cask dominating the spirit there are cheaper ways to get your “Sherry Bomb” fix. It’s another 7/10 for us.

Score: 7/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

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