Nose: Citrussy, big on buttery sweet cereals, hints of smoke and a coastal character.
Palate: Big and peaty. Very classic Port Ellen flavours, on turbo mode, lemon, peat. Gets sweet.Finish Tangy and classically styled.
A phenolic and briny nose. It has a distinct Caol Ila like freshness and a hint of juicy orange fruit. It’s a bit on the simple side, and the alcohol is quiet intrusive. It certainly seems about half its age.
The palate it’s quite carbolic and alcoholic. The alcohol practically sears the tongue. Ok there are some oily, fishy notes along with some coastal peat smoke, but it’s surprisingly dirty and a bit feinty, and as for the finish…. Well, what finish!
A drop of water I’m afraid turns it into a bit of a soapy, watery, rubbery mess. It has to go down as one of the worst bottlings of Port Ellen I have ever tasted, and if I forked out around £160 for this I would be very disappointed.
According to the blurb, this was distilled on February 2nd 1983, just a few months before the distillery was closed (in May), and aged in a wine treated butt (whatever that means? – a tired old sherry butt perhaps? If you can detect any cask presence here then hats off to you!).
Now I hate to denigrate anyone’s work, but I can only assume with the threat of closure hanging in the air, that the aim was to distill as much spirit as was possible, hence the stills were probably filled to almost capacity and pushed like hell. I maybe completely wrong in this supposition, but either way it doesn’t make this an enjoyable Port Ellen.
8th July 2010