Port Ellen 9th Release 30 Years Old 57,7% 1979
|Cask Type||Oak Casks|
|Condition||In Original Container|
The Port Ellen 9th annual release is probably one of the most anticipated bottlings of the yearly Diageo special releases.1 Of 5916 Bottles
Serge Valentin (93)
Colour: white wine. Nose: very different from the 1982’s, much more on grass, soaked barley, smoked porridge and diesel oil. Also more shoe polish and whiffs of eucalyptus starting to come through (sign of age?) The most straightforward but not the least complex. Big smoke. With water: this one gets rather more maritime with water, more on oysters, sea breeze and all that jazz. Also almonds and a little camphor, not unlike what happens with some of the most legendary of its neighbours when they get very old. Superb, obviously. Just hints of ‘clean’ manure. Mouth (neat): the most austere of them all but also the most elegant. Very dry, grassy and smoky attack, then quite some lemon, many mineral notes ‘cool climate style’ (to speak like a wino) and many phenolic/resinous notes. Splendid austerity. With water: gets ultra-dry, all on smoke and ashes. Finish: something that reminds me of the revered Rare Malts (20 and 22yo), minus the brutality. Comments: rather intellectual, just the opposite of these modern easy-sexy drams with no soul (and no cojones).
Nose: seems a bit more modest than most previous bottlings. The peat influence is rather soft and coated in a honeyed sweetness. Dried fruits and pears. More medicinal (antisepctic) and maritime notes than other official PE’s. Slightly mentholated and grassy. Lemons and a touch of vanilla. Almond. A confident 30yo gentleman really. Mouth: coating mouth-feel, sweet delivery with a coal smoke centre. Soon the spices kick in (pepper, nutmeg) and it gets drier. Hints of lemon biscuits and salty liquorice. Powerful and balanced. Finish: long, fading on smoke, spices and liquorice.
After an 8th release with seamingly disappointed comments, this is a rewarding high-class dram. Especially the nose is excellent.