Following up on the recent Port Ellen comparison (click here), I feel like comparing another couple of this beautiful ‚lost distillery-dram‘ in a head-to-head. Same vintage (1982), different casks, rare editions. Let’s go:
Port Ellen 26 y.o. Three Rivers (Tokyo) 13.10.1982 – 17.08.2009, Sherry Butt 2473, 200 btl., 55,7%
Comment: Much rounder and sweeter than the LMDW version below due to a discrete but noticeable sherry cask influence. Stable and farmyard, tar, pine resin, loads of mustard seed and orange liqueur (lead notes here), salt, peat, diesel, aromatic smoke and an Asian spice combo. Close to perfect in its own way. On the palate it is wonderfully intense and complex. This one is full of life, spicy tones mingle with sweet ones (more sherryish in taste) at enormous depth, then the dirty PE characteristics kick in, and we start over again. This game goes on and on and leads into a great and extra-long finish. Excellent stuff! The tasters in the whisky tram (street car) agreed to this, it is an extra-special Port Ellen.
Port Ellen 25 y.o. Signatory for LMDW (La Maison du Whisky) ‚Collectors Edition, 1982 – 2007, Hogshead 1203, 255 btl., 55,7%
Comment: Clean and fresh, on the sharp and spicy side (white pepper, chili), resin, peat, mustard seed, chalk, lemon zest and very discrete fruit in the background. Nice clean maltiness paired with PEs complex distillery character, an intriguing couple which is clean and dirty at the same time. Just a little oak here. Very good and slightly Ardbeg-1970-like in parts, yet lighter. Nice nose, let’s check out how this slips down. The palate is also very structured and clear, simply straight and austere Port Ellen. This elegant dram finishes with some matchstick sulphur – it is never loud, a good company. If you are into austere PE, this is a must-have.
Thanks to Flo for the sample – it is the bottling he chose to open in celebration of the birth of his daughter. Welcome little Magdalena!