Here we go for the 15th annual release of this iconic dram!
Only 2964 individually numbered bottles world-wide
From refill European Oak butts filled in 1983, which was the last year of production.
Like some memory of a fiery event, this sweet, intense, enigmatic and uncompromising Port Ellen displays a complex tour de force of aromas and flavours; it has a profound smokiness, more easily approached with water: deeply complex and carrying its years elegantly, this is an outstandingly dark expression, exceptional both as a Port Ellen and by any standards.
Appearance: Polished teak. Good beading.
•Nose: Immediate, intense and very complex. At first it’s deeply fruity, with red apple skins or fresh pears in wine. Presently a rich toffee note develops, over a waxy mineral base that becomes beach-like (hot sand, sea air, seaweed, bonfire ash) as the assault grows. Meanwhile, away from the beach, soft liquid brown sugar mud-wrestles menthol while dried orange peel, fruitcake and far-off fresh clean notes, soon joined by toffee, honey and ripe autumnal fruits, look on from seats of ex-sherry wood. Beautifully honeyed with water, as the toffee is wreathed in wood smoke to yield a sweet pungency, with just a memory of malt. Body: Medium.
•Palate: Wonderful at natural strength. Sweet, prickly and drying, with a great mix of wood ash, burnt jam tarts, treacle toffee and caramelized orange. Then yet more all-pervading smoke with a spicy-herbal complex featuring cloves. Water makes things cooler and milder yet doesn’t alter the well-balanced flavour profile. Dark toffee first, then smoked meats, kippers, ash and cleansing phenols.
•Finish: Long, cooling and complex: drying, yet also coating. Instantly appetising, with toffee apple, burnt toast, lemon zest, ripe red apples, a burnt plum tart. Deeply herbal and heavy with wood smoke, which is softer with water: minty now, with barley sugar, while the charred toast is spread with honey.
Official Tasting Notes.