This sweet, intense, enigmatic and uncompromising Port Ellen is a complex tour de force of aromas and flavours. Little wonder then that bottlings from this closed Islay distillery are very rare and highly sought after – especially at this age, being from refill European Oak butts filled in 1983, which was the last year of production.
Appearance – Polished teak with good beading.
Nose – Deeply fruity, with red apple skins or fresh pears in wine, then a rich toffee note develops, over a waxy mineral base – becoming beach-like, with hot sand, sea air, seaweed, bonfire ash.
Body – Medium.
Palate – Sweet, prickly and drying, with a great mix of wood ash, burnt jam tarts, treacle toffee and caramelized orange. Then yet more all-pervading smoke with a spicy-herbal complex.
Finish – Deeply herbal and heavy with wood smoke: drying, yet also coating, and of course instantly appetising, with toffee apple, burnt toast, lemon zest, ripe red apples, a burnt plum tart.