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, 29 January 2014


I've often, at least in some circles, hinted at Port Ellen being nothing but a mediocre Islay malt, this of course to provoke a response from the die hard fans out there, totally infatuated with Port Ellen for one reason only...  it's a closed distillery. Granted, it down not make much of a malt at a young age (early teens) and the distillery was also originally built to produce malt for blends.

Then owners 'United Distillers' (now Diageo) decided to focus on Caol Ila as their workhorse, producing at the time around x4 times as much spirit as Port Ellen, making that the final blow that would close down the plant... only they did not know how well Port Ellen, or at least the ones (mostly single casks) we see, would mature. Some are stunning - some are, honestly, not very good and certainly not worth whats charged for a bottle of Port Ellen these days. If you want to try something similar to a well aged Port Ellen, go buy a bottle of Caol Ila in its late 20's at a fraction of the price of a Port Ellen...

But like I said, there has also been some cracking single casks bottlings out there and I've been fortunate enough to taste a good deal on my whisky journey so far. There have been some duds along the way as well, but the ones that have made their way onto this measly little blog have all been from good to great! and this next one is great too...

Port Ellen seafront warehouse, October 9th 2008 © The Malt Desk
Port Ellen 1982 (13.10.1982/xx.11.2006) 24yo, 60,4%, Sherry butt#2461, 644 bottles, Bladnoch Forum

Colour is pale amber

Initially very little peat or sherry, but instead a very mashy/malty theme along with some vanillas and a baked apple note, hint of cookie dough and something herbal. Feels very fresh, in fact - like a windy day the beach.

Drying (alcohol), very delicate spirit here, much more seafront appears - salt, seaweedy, tackle box, some white fruit and a lovely balanced peat followed by a sherried sweetness that gives away to a huge malt surge. Also a citrus burst in there and the whole thing finishes off with medium spicy/peppery finish.

Personally, I love this style of whisky, especially its malt surge is huge!...which is why this one goes all the way up to:

91/100! ... and no extra point for being a PE ;-)

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