The eleventh Port Ellen in Diageo's Special Releases series was distilled in 1979 and bottled at 32 years old. We reckon it's the best official PE in many years.
Will this be anywhere near last year’s stunning 10th release, that was already a 1978? (WF 95). Colour: gold. Nose: well, I don’t want to shower praise on myself but I think it was a good idea to have this baby after a youngster, because this is so different yet so close. I mean, the background is more or less the same despite the different vintages, but this is much more polished, rounded and complex. Starts with a lot of fresh walnuts, almonds, apples and butter as well as some cigar smoke, and develops on fresh ink and paint, coal stove (yep, grandma’s), shellfish, motor oil and leather polish. The peatiness is starting to fade away, which was already happening with the 10th release, but I think that brought a bigger complexity to the whole.
With water: pure brine and seawater, which was a little unexpected. We’re so close to the Moon (Import) now, it’s as if water took 15 years away. Funny and brilliant. Maybe a little sootier, in fact. Mouth (neat): yahh! Frankly, it’s still a beast on the palate, and the peat is much more vivid than on the nose. Greatly acrid, very ashy, kippery (yeah I know) and lemony, with in the background, fabulous notes of marzipan, olive oil, pine sap and putty. What strikes me is the way it becomes more citrusy after that, not just on lemon but also on tangerines and even kumquats and bergamots. With water: like smoking the best early Cohibas. Quite ashy indeed – and there are many other flavours. Finish: long, with a fab sweet and sour and ashy profile that, again, usually rather belongs to the wine world in my opinion. Great briny/almondy aftertaste, rather smooth. Comments: fab and look, we don’t do halves so we shall keep the same score as last year, even if I think we might well be a wee tad lower in fact. Just a iny-wee tad... (last year's was maybe a minuscule notch more complex.) I also liked the fruitiness that starts to come out – taking the place of peat? SGP:467 - 95 points. (and now, this to the pure speculators who don’t really care about whisky: please *** off! ;-))
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|# Released bottle||2988|
|ABV/ Volume||53.9%/ 70cl|