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Port Ellen


Whisky, Islay



Port Ellen, 1979, 37 Year Old, Islay, (17th Release), 1979

Tasting Note:

This is the equal oldest Port Ellen ever released, and it’s an elegant classic, hitting all the notes you could want in style. Who needs power when you have all of this well-mannered yet complex elegance, with its fine balance of sweet fruit, honeyed citrus, smoke, warmth and oak?

Appearance: Deep 18CT gold.

Nose: Light yet complex. Peat-reek, damp bark, charred wax, flowers and tropical fruits pursued by familiar chamois leather and sherbet lemon. The fragrance evolves as a new-mown spring meadow, all wild flowers and grass, fading to a darker, savoury earthiness with dry peat and brushwood while the leather picks up spice, all of it wreathed in gentle scented wood smoke. A drop of water makes the aromas really smooth and waxy, raising scented candles and a trace of cinnamon, with noticeable smoke, warm spices, honey, tropical and stone fruits.

Body: Rich, medium to heavy.

Palate: Fabulously smooth; oily-textured, sweet and fruity. Lemony citrus, then that savoury earthiness, with fragrant damp grass, ripe fruit (spiced peaches) and spicy smoked meats. As with the nose, the earthy notes build, mixing in dark chocolate, scented wood smoke and burnt orange, before a sweeter and lighter note of freshly sliced apple, spiced and sweetened, livens things up. A drop of water lowers the spicy heat, leaving orchard fruit, slightly charred, and softly sweeter, with a little sweet mint.

Finish: Smooth, warming and spicy, with aromatic smoke. Digestive biscuits, crisp green grapes and lingering notes of earth, damp leaf and charred oak. Water enhances all this, and there’s a fine smoky-waxy after-taste.

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