Port Ellen 6th Annual Release 54.2% 1978
|Condition||In Original Container|
Serge Valentin (92)
Nose: much ‘easier’ than the Signatory at first nosing, starting on lots of lemon juice and smoked tea (lapsang souchong). It’s soon to get unusually maritime (some would say ‘fishy’) with notes of smoked oysters but also kippers – clean ones. Lots of iodine. Then we have freshly cut apples, peaches, green melons… Whiffs of newly cut grass, chives… It’s probably a little more civilized and tamed than most earlier versions I think, but maybe also a little more complex. No tarry notes, no new tyres this time but it’s very expressive just like that but let’s see what it gives with a little water: not much development but it already told us lots of things. Not exactly a swimmer in fact – at least on the nose.
Mouth (neat): peaty, waxy, salty and lemony, with an almost perfect balance right at first sip. Again, it’s a little rounder than ‘usual’, maybe a little more ‘obviously good’ and less austere and sharp than most previous editions. Gets quite spicy (green curry, soft wasabi) and liquoricy before we have quite some fruits such as bitter oranges and tangerines. With water: gets a little fruitier and even spicier, in a beautiful way. Notes of quince jelly, herbs liqueur, parsley and dill, getting more and more peppery, especially at the very long, beautifully sharp and invading
finish – maybe the best part here. Very compact, with a superb earthiness remaining on your palate for ages (plus my beloved old Pu-erh tea). That superb finish will lift its mark from 90 to 92 points.