Port Ellen 1981 - Feis Ile 2008

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Bottled especially for the 2008 Islay Music and Whisky Festival (Feis Ile). Selling out within hours with people camping overnight to secure this extremely rare, once in a life time bottling.

This was the very first single cask release by Port Ellen, with only around 220 bottles filled.

TASTING NOTES (by Whiskyfun.com)

This one is already legendary. Sold for a very fair price (£99.something) but in very limited quantities, it provoked quite a queue when it was sold at Caol Ila Distillery on the morning of may 26th and of course a few vampires were quick to put it on eBay, where it was soon to fetch something like £700. Better than petrol. There's even 'a gentleman' in Bowmore who's currently asking for £800+ a bottle. Ah, the charming Ileachs, soooo romantic, aren't they! Colour: pale gold. Nose: this is different. More polished, rounder at first nosing, even if the notes of smoked fish are well here. Vanilla custard. Develops on unusual floral notes (dandelions, flower nectar), then whiffs of brown coal, pu-erh tea, matches, hints of dry white wine again, a little more liquorice… More notes of kippers as well, maybe even sardines. Hints of fresh almonds and gingerbread. This one gets more and more complex, and rather wilder too over time. Very interesting development from ‘almost smoothness’ to ‘wild coastal peatiness’. Mouth: once again, it starts quite smoothly (well, considering it’s Port Ellen), on orange marmalade and lapsang souchong (smoked tea), but it really becomes a hard-hitter after that, with quite a lot of peat, lemon peel (and squash), orange peel, coriander, brown sugar again… The grassiness gets bigger too (interesting notes of sorrel mingling with the lemon) but there are also quite some ‘candied’ notes (crème brûlée, caramel custard, even rum.) A big dram that started smoothly but grows wilder and wilder. Tricky, in a certain way. Finish: very long, but quite interestingly, it sort of softens (hints of pineapple drops and honey – honey in Port Ellen!) whilst keeping its beautiful profile. Comments: another punchy but most approachable Port Ellen. Certainly more complex and more multifaceted than the ‘average’ Port Ellen (albeit less austere/sharpish), provided you give it a little time. If you’ve got one bottle of this, please don’t bull, open it, it’s really worth it. SGP:637 - 91 points.


    Distillery Port Ellen
    Classification Single Malt Whisky
    Bottle No./ Released 61/220
    Vintage 1981
    Age -
    Bottler Official Bottling
    Bottling Date 2008
    ABV/ Volume 54.7%/ 70cl
    Rating/SGP 91/637
    Cask Number 1301


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