Pe3 – Elements of Islay

The Elements of Islay series is a bottling range of Specialty Drinks Ltd., which is closely affiliated with The Whisky Exchange. They started this series about 3 to 4 years ago and have been rather successful with it, albeit that some bottlings are way more popular than others.

They bottle whiskies from almost all distilleries (there hasn’t been a Kilchoman and a Bunnahabhain yet) under semi-chemical names like Pe1, Lg2, Cl1:

  • Pe: Port Ellen
  • Lg: Lagavulin
  • Lp: Laphroaig
  • Cl: Caol Ila
  • Br: Bruichladdich
  • Ar: Ardbeg

The ones that have been most popular are the Pe series, of which the first one was rather affordable. Since they have been selling out fast the price has gone up quite a bit since. Affordable is a relative statement anyway. They were affordable for a sherried Port Ellen, but compared to most other brands still quite expensive…

Here I’ll review the Pe3, the third and latest bottling of Port Ellen.

Apart from the heavy smokiness, the aroma is quite light with grass, milk and dry meadow flowers. Quite a load of peat. After the initial light scents you get more salty, briny notes of fish, the sea. Also some chalk and shoe polish.

The taste is rather fierce with quite some alcohol burn. Iodine, briny sand and grass as well. After the initial burn has gone it becomes a lot more sugary sweet.

The finish is not too long. Fiery with charcoal, peat and salt.

What I heard is that this was one of the last batches of Port Ellen from the seventies. A rule of thumb is that whiskies from the seventies are ‘better’ than whiskies from the eighties. This one has a lot of complexity in the nose and on the palate, but the finish was a tad short for me. A very nice dram nonetheless.

Although the first one was a very affordable Port Ellen, this one is less so. It goes for about € 270 now (started out about € 70 euroes cheaper), and that is for a half litre bottle. A regular sized one would (if it existed) go for € 378. Way too much.

Pe3, Specialty Drinks Ltd., 54.8%, samples available at Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis in Belgium, and whole bottles at Malts and More.

Edit: Its still available at Drinks & Gifts for € 245.

Nose: 9
Taste: 9
Finish: 7
Overal experience: 8
Price/quality: -2

Total: 31 points

4 stars


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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5 Responses to Pe3 – Elements of Islay

  1. Tim F says:

    Cheers for the review, Sjoerd, glad you liked it. In fairness, I must point out that we always sold it for £179 (70cl equiv = £250), which of course is still expensive but alas, seems to be the going rate for a 1970s PE these days.

  2. Hi Tim, thanks for your reply. The price here in the Netherlands is quite a bit higher than that, unfortunately. I understand the increased price for PE from the 70’s very well, but I guess it was unstoppable at your webshop? I believe it sold out within a day or two?

  3. Tim F says:

    Au contraire, Sjoerd – it came out at the end of October and we only sold out last month

  4. Tim F says:

    Keep your eyes peeled for more Elements very soon, Sjoerd

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