Port Ellen 1st Release 22 years Old 56.2% 1979
Serge Valentin (93)
Colour: dark straw.
Nose: ah, this is something completely different. Sweeter and much rubberier right at the start, with some typical notes of tyres, tar, pepper… Some fruity notes emerge, like apple, green pear, green plum. Yet, it’s finally even more austere than the Ardbeg, and perhaps a little less satisfying.
It then gets quite vegetal (wet fern, moss) and even a little mineral (wet chalk). A great one, perhaps just slightly less stunning than the new Ardbeg.
Mouth: again, it’s crispier and fruitier at the same time, but still very austere. More tar, more rubber, and much, much more pepper. Some sweetness but it comes from the alcohol. It then grows more and more powerful and drier… What a body! The pepper grows even stronger after a few minutes… And the sweetness vanishes, leaving just a mixture of smoke, pepper and lemon zest that might displease the lovers of round and smooth whiskies – but not the peat heads, obviously.
The finish is very long but again, very austere. Decidedly!