PORT ELLEN 32 ans 1983 15th Release 53,9%
Single Malt, Scotland / Islay, 70cl, Ref: 50039
This sweet, intense, enigmatic and intransigent Port Ellen is a complex tour de force of aromas and flavours. It offers a pronounced smoky flavour, easily countered with a splash of water: deeply complex and wearing its years with elegance, this expression is incredibly intense, exceptional both for a Port Ellen but also for a malt generally. Only 2,964 numbered bottles are available in the world.
- Appearance : Polished teak.
- Nose : Instantaneous, intense and highly complex. Initially very fruity, with notes of red apple or wine pears. A rich caramel note unfurls over a waxy mineral base evocative of a beach (warm sand, maritime breeze, seaweed, campfire ash) as the attack intensifies. Next, the mellow flavour of brown sugar clashes with menthol accents with faraway frank and fresh notes of dried orange and fruit cake, quickly supported by caramel, honey, ripe autumn fruits, accompanied by aromas of wood from old sherry casks. A splash of water lends it a honeyed hue and wraps the caramel notes in wood smoke for a subtly spicy effect, reminiscent of malt.
- Palate : Mellow, spicy and dry with an excellent blend of wood ash, burnt jam tarts, molasses and caramelised oranges. Next, the smoked fragrance continues to unfurl in a bouquet of spices and herbs containing cloves. The addition of a drop of water refreshes and softens the concoction without altering the well-balanced flavours.
- Overall : Long, fresh and complex: both dry and voluptuous. Instantly appealing with notes of caramelised apple, grilled tart, lemon zest, ripe red apples and burnt plum tart. A deeply herbaceous finish characterised by wood smoke that is softened with water: the now mentholated notes shift into barley sugar, and honeyed aromas are spread over flavours of burnt toast.
- The brand
Built in 1824 in the south of the Isle of Islay, Port Ellen was the site of numerous technological experiments that revolutionised the whisky industry in the 20th century. Closed between 1930 and 1969, it opened a malting centre on its site in 1973 tasked with supplying all the distilleries on the island with smoky malted barley. Again closed in 1983, Port Ellen lost its production licence in 1992 and, with it, all hope of ever producing whisky again. At the beginning of the millennium, the majority of its buildings were knocked down, leaving only the pagodas and warehouses. Though the end of the 90s and the beginning of the millennium were a prosperous time for single cask, cask strength versions from independent bottlers, this very iodine and smoky malt has become increasingly rare over the last five years.
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