I can recommend the "Annual Release" from the owners. I have had the 1st and 2nd, the 1st is far the best of them. The 3rd should be really good too, but i haven't had that one.
Also the Rare Malts bottlings are good, but they (as the 1st AR) can be hard to find these days.
The Signatory bottlings of 1979 Port Ellen are very nice too.
Port Ellen was at it's prime at up to 19 years old, but it is getting harder to find the young one's
If the one you had really was comparable to any Bowmore, it was an odd duck indeed. But I suspect that's down to our differing tastes--I've yet to have a PE I didn't like, or a Bowmore I did.
MrTattieHeid wrote:I've yet to have a PE I didn't like, or a Bowmore I did.
Look around (if you can find it!) for a Bowmore 1974 (a 23 or 25 year old, if I remember correctly) by Signatory. It's in the flat dumpy bottles, not in the tall ones. It's bottled at 49% and it's great: completely different from any OB Bowmore I have tried so far. I wouldn't be surprised if you enjoyed this one a lot: I surely do, while the OBs don't excite me. It seems very little sherried, maybe COMPLETELY unsherried!
I would opt for the 3rd release over the 26yo OMC. The OMC bottle could be mistaken if tasted blind for a Talisker, lots of dry peppery spice on the palate and on the nose it is oily with a sweet and almost floral boquet. 3rd release shows more of an islay character though the 26yo OMC is deffinately worth a visit.
Lagavulin 12yo CS is expensive compared to last year too. It is $121 this year but was $75 last year. I haven't bought any this year as I prefer Uigeadail for that price (also overpriced here at $122, though Ardbeg TEN at $75 is also quite expensive using just the exchange rate).
Other PE bottlings I really enjoyed, yet are way more expensive are:
-Port Ellen Signatory Cask Strength Selection 1979 24Y
-Port Ellen Blackadder Raw Cask 1982 21Y
-Port Ellen Rare Malts 1978 22Y
-Port Ellen Scotch Single Malt Circle 1982 20Y
-Port Ellen OMC 1982 & 1983 both 21Y, especially the '82
Did not sample any of the annual releases though.
The other '82's I refered to is OMC cask 414 Sherry 21Y, the Scotch Single Malt Circle at 20Y 61.2% and Blackadder Raw Cask 21y Oloroso sherry. The last two will probably be impossible to find now.
The '83 OMC was 21Y old and sherry matured.
I noticed that you payed attention to the vintage year 1982 to base your purchase on. When PE is concerned dont forget that any bottling can varie drastically from another since they used different peating levels all the time.
Having said this, my recommendation would be the abovementioned Provenance.
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