A closed Islay distillery, Port Ellen bottlings are now very rare and highly sought – especially after at this age. In fact, earlier releases in this series now change hands among collectors for large sums. It’s easy to see why: this is a glorious grande dame, superb in every way and with a poise and self-assurance born of long experience.
Bright, deep gold with amber lights. Fine beading.
Sophisticated and understated; dry overall, opening with distant, faint smoke, before a wave of familiar sweet and smoky notes, among which hints of hessian and warm wood.
Smooth and agreeably oily.
Rich and honeyed at first, balanced by maritime salt. Then, unexpected notes of citrus and ginger burst, only to be clouded by sweet smoke, against a backdrop of dark chocolate.
Very long and warming, with crisp ginger and citrus, and fresh, menthol clean notes that rise against a backdrop of drying, oaky wood smoke.
Make: Port EllenTM
Age: 35 years old
Strength: 56.5% ABV
Place of Origin: Port Ellen
Sophisticated and understated; dry overall, opening with distant, faint smoke, before a wave of familiar sweet and smoky notes, among which hints of hessian and warm wood are all that suggest great age. The distant smoke soon grows closer and more fragrant, while above it drift pleasing sweet aromas of honey-cured smoked meats or root vegetable. Through all this a fresh, cleansing note rises, to vie with sweet mint and sharp citrus - winey hints too. Finally, smooth, dark cocoa, some vanilla and more wood smoke. With water, first sweet, then more muted and savoury, though later a fruity clarity sweetly returns.
Immediate and lively! At first, rich and honeyed, the sweetness perfectly balanced by maritime salt as if to suggest sweet seaweed. Then, unexpected notes of citrus and ginger burst like lime and ginger marmalade on wholemeal toast. In turn, this sunny edge is clouded by sweet smoke, rising against a velvety backdrop of dark chocolate. The rich character remains in essence unchanged when reduced with water; still warming, the citrus becomes orange oil, with ginger and modest smoke.