A week without a new post has gone by, and I’ve decided to catch up on some notes I’ve written ages ago. The first ones I came across in my little booklet were these of an early eighties Port Ellen (yes, there is no other part of the eighties for Port Ellen).
Generally speaking the eighties Port Ellens are a bit less interesting than the late seventies ones. Luckily, there are exceptions. I’ve been lucky enough to pick one of these up a few years ago from Berry’s, and I’m hoping this one joins those ranks.
The nose on this quite strong whisky is very gentle. Intense, but smooth with smoke. Rich with quite some oak, soft leather. A bit like suede and shammy leather. Autumn leaves, the wet and dying kind. Slightly spicy and a touch of lemon.
The palate is sharper, and dryer. Some oak and only a little bit of smoke. Dry leather and leaves. Oak, black pepper. It’s not a very easy whisky and it demands attention. And it’s right to do so at almost 700 bucks a pop.
The finish suddenly is what I call a quintessential old Islay whisky. Light smoke with hints of barley and slightly tangy fruit. Notes of oak and spices too.
In short: Yup! This one works!
Slightly longer: While it builds somewhat into the palate, the balance of this wee dram is great. The spices and fruit, with oak, smoke and barley works very well. The typical Port Ellen flavors of shammy leather and sweet lemon are present too, although not as prominent as in some other bottlings.
Port Ellen1982-2010, 27yo, cask 2558, 55.5%, Old Bothwell. Expect to pay between 600 and 700 in auction.