Port Charlotte Valinch SYC:02

Port Charlotte Valinch SYC:02

Whisky: Port Charlotte Valinch SYC:02

Region: Islay

ABV: 61.8%

Price: £75 (for 50cl)

It’s taking us far too long, but we’ve finally gotten to our first valinch review. Distilled in March 2009, this bottling was drawn from a second fill Syrah hogshead after 11 years. This produced an outturn of 393 bottles.

This was one of the valinch bottles that was sold via ballot during lockdown in 2020. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one as we're big fans of the other valinch bottles we've tried in the past.


Great start here, we’re getting smoked back bacon on a rowie, ash, tannins, heavy peat smoke, raw alcohol, and finally a toasted vanilla slice.


There’s a lot going on here. Smoked creme brûlée, maple glazed BBQ pork, apple pie with cinnamon and caramel drizzle. This coats the mouth incredibly well, honestly we’d swear this was peatier than most Octomores. There’s a tingle of alcohol lasts all the way through the long finish.

Nose (with water)

Immediate burnt sugar, coastal saltiness, and shortbread. The heavy peat notes are still there, just pushed into the background now.

Palate (with water)

The water has tamed the alcohol burn somewhat. There’s definitely more sweetness now with notes of caramel and honeycomb. The smoke still here and lingers on the tongue through the long finish.


This is just delicious, incredible smoke, ash and fruity in a harmonious balance of flavour. Great example of a wine cask Port Charlotte. Now if only the bottles were 70cl instead of 50cl...

Score: 8/10 

  • 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.

Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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