For this review I’ve had a go at another Port Ellen. It’s an independent bottling from Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range. The whisky’s been drawn from a sherry cask, but the type of sherry and the size of the cask will remain a mystery as I don’t have the actual bottle, only a rather generous sample that was given to me by Ragnhild. That being said, I do believe this has been maturing in a firstfill cask and not a secondfill ect. judging by the dark colour of it.
Distilled: Nov. 1982, Bottled: Sep. 2001.
Nose: Toffee and dry white smoke. Stewed plums, dusty and ashy – almost like gunpowder. With water, more mellow. Fruitier, hints of lacquer.
Palate: Holy crap, this is delicious! Getting bitter grapefruits, ashy and drying smoke, oranges, peat, dirt and salty coastalness. Water brings out more sherry, the sharp smoke settles down a bit.. getting hints of fruity candy now, as in jellybeans. The finish dries the mouth and leaves it smoky and ashy.
This is a beautiful bottling of Port Ellen. I tend to appreciate the younger bottlings as there’s still a lot of peatyness in them, even at 18 years old, opposed to the 30+ expressions.