The first-ever version of the now hugely popular Port Ellen Annual Releases. Distilled in 1979 and bottled at cask strength after 22 years of maturation. Port Ellen distillery closed in 1983 and is considered to be one of the most prestigous in history.
I had planned to use the 22 yo 1978 Rare Malts, which I prefer, but I haven't any opened bottle left at this very moment. Colour: dark straw. Nose: ah, this is something completely different. Sweeter and much rubberier right at the start, with some typical notes of tyres, tar, pepper… Some fruity notes emerge, like apple, green pear, green plum. Yet, it’s finally even more austere than the Ardbeg, and perhaps a little less satisfying. Port Ellen 22yo 1979/2001 ‘Annual Release’ (56.2%, OB, first release)
It then gets quite vegetal (wet fern, moss) and even a little mineral (wet chalk). A great one, perhaps just slightly less stunning than the new Ardbeg. Mouth: again, it’s crispier and fruitier at the same time, but still very austere. More tar, more rubber, and much, much more pepper. Some sweetness but it comes from the alcohol. It then grows more and more powerful and drier… What a body! The pepper grows even stronger after a few minutes… And the sweetness vanishes, leaving just a mixture of smoke, pepper and lemon zest that might displease the lovers of round and smooth whiskies – but not the peat heads, obviously. The finish is very long but again, very austere. Decidedly! 93 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|# Released bottle||6000|
|ABV/ Volume||56.2%/ 70cl|