The first Port Ellen I ever tasted, and the first Port Ellen I ever bought. At this Whisky Live Festival in Leiden, in 2007 I saw this at the Berry’s stand and thought I had to try it. A dram was € 5. After that we walked past the Diageo stand and thought if the 5 buck dram was great, how good must that € 10 official bottling be?! Turned out to be nowhere near as good as the Single Cask one. A friend and I decided we both must have a bottle.
There went my first Christmas bonus. By now it’s time to finish the last few drams that are in there, so I poured myself one and wrote some notes. If I think back to that happy day I am both glad and sad. A bit bitter sweet, since back then a dram of Port Ellen was only a fiver, and happy because I was able to taste such stuff before a random Port Ellen is worth a lot more than € 200…
Shammy leather and lemon candy. Classic Port Ellen. Salty peat with grass and sea water, sand rather fierce. Really delicious but something that makes you want to sit down and marvel at it. Lemon grass and parsley at some point when the sweetness goes into herbs.
Sharp and fresh, crisp even. Smoke, salt, brine, a bonfire on the beach. Sandy with leather, lemondrops, vanilla and some green herbs.
The finish is really sharp too, but in such a way you want to enjoy that rollercoaster instead of water it down. Lemon, bonfires, charcoal, peat, grass, straw, lemongrass, parsley and lemon zest.
Damn this is good. I don’t think I have tried another bourbon cask Port Ellen that comes near to this. There are some stunning sherry matured or finished ones, but the typical style is more prominent here. I like that. You can taste the distillery character and there is loads, LOADS of that. I handles water rather well too.
My favorite bourbon cask Port Ellen was bottled by Berry Brothers and Rudd, at 56.1% ABV, in 2007 from cask 2850. It’s available from Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis for € 200
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