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This is a fabulous old Port Ellen from Douglas Laing's stellar Old and Rare Platinum Selection. It was distilled in August 1977, some six years before the distillery shut its doors for good, and the whisky was aged in a single refill hogshead. It was bottled at natural cask strength in November 2012, and there are just 199 bottles available.
Nose: Rich notes of overripe grape and a little calves leather. Barley malt, hints of light citrus and intense spice.
Palate: Rich, salt caramel-led palate with big, fresh slabs of peat to the fore. Very citrus-rich, with a touch of mahogany, maple syrup and smouldering malt.
Finish: The finish is all about freshly zested lemons and black pepper.
Overall: A classic Port Ellen - big, smoky, and with a barrage of fresh citrus! Delicious.
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Imagine standing on the west coast of Islay looking out to sea whilst sucking a sherbet lemon sweet. A mixture of sea spray and iodine with a subtle hint of citrus. As you then turn inland towards your croft you can smell, in the distance the peat smoke from the fire as it drifts towards you on the wind. Then, as you open the front door the smokey aroma grabs the back of your throat, but only for an instant, it quickly subsides into a more enjoyable and palatable experience. Yours trulyA very lucky and satisfied husband.
22nd October 2013