Port Ellen 12th Annual Release 1979 32 Years Old (2012)

Port Ellen


The most sought after of the yearly Diageo Special Releases - the official bottling of whisky from long closed Port Ellen. This 12th release is a vatting of refill American and European oak matured whisky that was distilled in 1979. At 32 years old this was, at release, the joint oldest official bottling of Port Ellen.

TASTING NOTES (by Whiskyfun.com)

Colour: pale gold. Nose: as expected, this older baby is less in your face and, to be honest, much more complex and subtle. I’m glad we had the monsters before, that stresses even more to which extend the new one is complex. The first aromas are pretty similar (tar and such) but many tinier notes do develop over time, especially all what comes from ageing coastal peat, that is to say camphor, putty, plasticine, almonds, old coal stove, shellfish (our beloved whelks), old motor oil, waxed papers, ink, chimney ashes, seaweed… No need to say that this nose is brilliant. With water: same. It was already complex and so it remains.

Mouth: I’d say the difference with the younger ones isn’t as big as on the nose, it’s still a potent, almost pungent whisky, with absolutely no signs of fatigue although again, it’s rather more complex. So once again, it’s the sappy/resinous part that grew bigger, with more camphor again, cough syrup, wax… It’s also very lemony and briny again, this should go extremely well with (the most expensive) oysters. With water: sadly, it’s great. I wrote sadly because it’s so expensive – as Pete and Jack said, many good friends can’t afford to show their good taste anymore. Anyway, there are more tropical fruits than in any earlier expressions, we’re starting to experience what can be found in old Laphroaigs, for example. Or in last year’s release, by the way. Superb! Finish: long, complex, chiselled, almondy, liquoricy, tarry, salty and, again, a little tropical. Lemons and grapefruits. Comments: mixed feelings, because of the prices. Just like last year’s release, it’s fabulous whisky, no doubt whatsoever, but it’s very sad that, as I said, some friends who really know their whisky won’t be able to buy it anymore. The worst problem is that, contrarily to what some seem to believe, there aren’t that many whiskies in this style anymore that are both as superb AND significantly cheaper in my opinion. Unless you’re good at self-persuasion… Or manage to unearth some great oldies here and there. Sob sob sob… SGP:457 - 95 points.


    Distillery Port Ellen
    Classification Single Malt Whisky
    # Released bottle 2964
    Vintage 1979
    Age 32
    Bottler Official Bottling
    Bottling Date 2012
    ABV/ Volume 52.5%/ 70cl
    Rating/SGP 95/457
    Cask Number -


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