About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Another distillery that does not need any introduction, is the closed Port Ellen Distillery.
Not counting its founding and early production years, the distillery was shut down after a relatively short lifespan from 1967-1983... and with only an annual output of about 800.000 liters of spirit, bottles have now become rare and expensive. After Port Ellen Distillery closed, production was increased at another Diageo (back then UDV)distillery instead namely Caol Ila, making it biggest distillery on Islay for many years now.

Last year saw another expansion at Caol Ila with new the installation of 2 new washbacks, making it possible for the distillery to up the output to a massive 6.400.000 liters of spirit annually.

There's much debate on how much Port Ellen that are actually left in Scotland, both with the owners Diageo and with the independent bottlers, of which Douglas Laing here in reputed to have some stock left...and its a bottle from this stock that goes in the review below:

Port Ellen 1983 27yo 46%, refill sherry butt#DMG6101, Douglas McGibbon Provenance

Bright gold coloured

Sweet fruits, cut mango, melon, an ashy peat along with quite some salt.

Fruits and peat are the dominant players here. then quite some coastal notes incl the before mentioned salt, but also hint of seaweed and a wet sand note (mineral note?)

The thing about Port Ellen is, that it can be both very mediocre and downright fantastic whisky. This is very enjoyable, but far from the best Port Ellen I've ever tried....and at the price they're charging for Port Ellen these days, I'd rather pay less that half and get a bottle of old Caol Ila, which -in my opinion- has much of the same characteristics as a Port Ellen.


This post also concludes the 8-part series on indie bottler Douglas Laing.
Hope you've enjoyed the reviews.

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