Usually an immediate sell-out, the 10th release of OB Port Ellen is from 1978 and has been bottled at 31 years old.
Only the half of the usual batch size this year, uh! I loved the 9th release from last year as much as the 1st from 2001 (WF93) but the 21yo ‘Port Ellen Maltings’ still rules my list of official PEs (WF94). Colour: straw. Nose: oh this is restrained and elegant! Exactly the opposite of some exuberant peat monsters, this is very subtle, on old papers, almond milk, shellfish, old slightly musty spice mix, soot and quite a lot of cut apples. I think I’ll try to compare this one with the 22yo 1978 Rare Malts one day, I seem to remember that one was a true monster- exactly the opposite of this new 1978.
With water: the beast still roars! Water woke up a tarry peatiness that, precisely, reminds me of the Rare Malt (that I used to call ‘the Pirelli whisky’ – nothing to do with the naked girls on the calendars). Mouth (neat): ah yes, yes yes! More vibrant than the nose and ueber-lemony, superbly zingy, ‘chiselled’ and kippery. Greatest notes of olive oil and marzipan in the background. Gets then ashier and saltier at the same time. I don’t think we used to know how PE would behave after 30 years of age, I think we have the answer. With water: perfection made whisky. Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade. Finish: very long. Superb salty aftertaste and a contrasting spice blast (carvi, pepper, cloves, bitter almonds). Comments: wow. To think that we’ll have all these new old Port Ellens to try in the coming years! And if PE was the peaty Islayer that aged best? Shall we soon see the revenge of the old lady on her thundering neighbours? Imagine there’s probably much more old PE than old Ardbeg around… SGP:367 - 95 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|# Released bottle||3000|
|ABV/ Volume||54.6%/ 70cl|