The ‘bottle of desire’ which will be the topic of this post comes from a distillery with legendary status. What makes Port Ellen special is that it is one of those distilleries which was lost in history but the expressions are somehow still accessible.

Port Ellen was originally founded in 1925 to support ‘Blended Whisky’ market. Till the mothballing of the distillery in 1983, most of the casks used for maturing were used refills barrels coming from other Islay distilleries. This practice of using ‘Tired Wood Casks’ resulted in expressions showcasing the real characteristics of the spirit, not the casks.

Starting in 2000, Diageo included a special limited edition Port Ellen expression to its annual ‘Special Releases’ lineup. This gave the whisky enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy these special drams and the distillery.

Port Ellen 7th Annual Release is a 28-Year-Old expression. The spirit forming the heart of this dram was distilled in 1979 and the bottling was done in 2007. The alcohol content is at 53.8% ABV. This release is limited to 5274 and the sample used for this review came from the commercially purchased bottle #617.Port Ellen 7th Release

Port Ellen 7th Release Whisky Tasting Notes

Color: Light golden hue…

Nose: Opens up with strong vanilla… Even to the point where it hides the initial peat… Sweet floral aromas are the highlight… faint coastal notes, seaweed, and salty sea water as if carried by the gentle breeze from the Atlantic… Pretty nice nut influence… All these balanced with a little bit of lime zestiness and cooling mint creating a complex overall nosing experience…

Palate: Creamy and mouth watering… Sweet and spicy with a subtle and delicate touch of peat… Spice comes in the form of cloves, cinnamon, and pepper while burnt tobacco and smoked tea leave like presence from the peat… The sweetness is of vanilla and honey… Coastal flavors create a bit of saltiness in the background…

Finish: Medium to a long finish…  Complex flavors tend to remain in the mouth for some time… a Little bit of wet oak and salt water like after taste…

This is a complex whisky and requires experience and patience to savor it in the fullest. Novice whisky enthusiasts (and no offense is intended as we all started as novices) might find it a bit dull when compared to recent releases with bolder flavor profiles. Port Ellen manages to bring out the ‘real spirit of the spirit’ and delivers a well balanced and delicious Whisky free from the influence of other ‘stronger’ drinks like sherries, rums or wines… This is the main reason that carried the distillery to its legendary and almost cult like status…

Slainte Mhath…

Port Ellen 7th Release Whisky Review
Overall Score91%
91%Overall Score

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