Whiskyreview #38 Port Ellen 35yo ‘Old & Rare’ 49.3%

Port Ellen – one of the most sought after imagesingle malts there is, and you can tell by looking at the prices of Port Ellen whiskies. This is one of the oldest Port Ellen bottlings available on the market, and is bottled by Douglas Laing Ltd. as part of their Old and Rare range of premium single cask whiskies. 155 bottles only.

Distilled: 1977, bottled: 2012

On the nose it’s quite subtle and sweet at first sniff. The peatsmoke arrives slowly, but still it’s rather quiet and gentle. There’s salt there, with hints of clementines and cloves. Candied almonds and vanilla ice cream. With water added it opens up alot and the smoke that that had grown quite prominent, settles down again and pave the way for some creamy fruity notes. Hints of coffee now, with some salty earthy notes.

The palate is oily and a bit bigger than what I anticipated. It’s oaky, peaty and all in all very well balanced. It has a sweet arrival, but turns bitter with some citric notes. With water, the smoke becomes very peppery and spicy, with some tobacco notes. The finish is long, but what’s quite interesting is that the flavours in the finish peaks about two seconds after you swallow, and not right away. Never experienced that before.

Sniffing the empty glass(which is something you should do, when drinking pricy whisky like this), brings out caramel, earthy notes and peat.

Complex and delicious. Love the finish.

91/100 points

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