Whats the best Port Ellen you have tasted?
I want to lay down a few good ones for the future.
What a #### up that was closing it down.
I bet you the owners are wishing they could go back to 1982 now!
LONG LIVE PORT ELLEN (STOCKS)!
The two best Port Ellens i have tasted are :-
Sig 1976/21yo cask 4754 (may be a little bit hard to find!).
The Whisky Shop 10th anniversary bottling (1978/24yo), the smokiest PE i've ever had ,a damn fine bottling !
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[This message has been edited by Spirit of Islay (edited 12 August 2003).]
I just bought a 24 year old cask strength bottling and I hear it's amazing but I've not opened it yet. I had an older Signatory which wa wonderful, but anything from Signatory is usually very good. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has had some good offerings.... but they're becoming harder and harder to find. The Old Malt Cask Sherry finish is well worth the price and is still currently available.
Distillery: Old Malt Cask Score: 9.6 Perc: 50
Expression: Port Ellen 1979 sept, 21 year Date: 1 dec 2002 Occasion:
Bought At: Santhpoort Price: 110EURO Color: 24
Nose: Seaweed, salt, hint of smoke.
Finish: Sweet, turns into a fishy/salty taste later on.
Comments: One to sit down for. Be carefull with water.
This has to be my personal PE favourite
Here are two tasting notes from two 1979 expressions of Port Ellen. Unfortunally just tasting notes from me, noone else send in any '79 PE tasting notes yet.
Personally I adore a good PE from time to time. Although personally I also think it hasnt got a lot of depth, just what I think of the 10 yr Laphroaig too. The OMC at 50% is a lot better as the 43% already though
Harry: you can submit notes already using the submit form on the website http://www.peatfreak.com/Cntsubmit.php is the address for that.
Early next week I will be releasing a new version with which you can submit a tasting note by simply clicking a button. It will send the currently selected tasting note then, so you might want to wait till that release if your planning to give the program a try anyway
I recently tried the OB Port Ellen 3rd Annual Release 24 year old 57.3% (9000 bottles released in 2003) and it is very good, I would rate it as one of the best Port Ellen's that I've ever had.
I bought 3 bottles for the future.
It is the only PE I've had so I can say it is the best bottle
What REMAINS a mystery is why it the stillhouse was demolished only recently!!! They took the equipment (probably beyond a state of repair) out in the late nineties and then demolished the building in 2003 (the maltings of course survive and work for the rest of Islay, and the warehouses are also used). Why did they get rid of it at a time when Bruichladdich and Ardbeg were being rejuvenated? That I can't explain and can't excuse. When I read on the label how Diageo is sad that the distillery is closed I have to ask myself, if you're so sad why didn't you resurrect it in the late nineties? Why mothball it for so long so it could be restarted and then just when the single malt industry was picking up again, go ahead and demolish the stillhouse?!?
Even if the old stills had been rotten they could have used them to get the dimensions and so on -- we know equipment is replaced so in reality a 1965 distillation isn't the same as a 2000 distillation; new stills are installed sometimes, it is necessary so new stills wouldn't kill the idea of it still being PE. If the plans for equipment and recipes still exist then perhaps a resurrection, rather than a reopening, is still possible. I doubt they'd do it as they have so many distilleries but one can dream...
unfortunately, the best PE I recall the is one of which I do not know anything else but 'this is a 13 yo Port Ellen', when offered a nip from a glass. Probably not available any longer, anywhere.
It was explosive and intense as a Talisker can be, but then, well, different.
The best I know of worth looking for is the 22yo Rare Malt, at 60,50%.
I've quite enjoyed the Rare Malts bottlings I've had. There sure is a lot of the stuff around for a defunct distillery, isn't there? My theory is that they were cranking the stuff out for blends, but as soon as the place closed, the blenders stopped buying, leaving vast stocks behind. Stock up, lads, and get some Brora, too, while you're at it.
Has anyone tried the Straight From The Cask Burgundy Finish bottling, in the little blue crate? I brought one back this year and I'm afraid of it.
I guess those two are vital reviving a distillery.
Harry: in your post you speak of the demolishing of the stillhouse, are you sure the stills were still present in there too?
Most of the people who worked there remained to work on the Kiln or went to work for Lagavulin and Caol Ila. I suspect that the recipes and equipment characteristics still exist somewhere and even if they don't, its not like distilleries don't change their still designs (look at Bowmore and Laphroaig). If it were resurrected it wouldn't be the Port Ellen of old but one can say the same of many other resurrected distilleries where new people and often new equipment are needed to get it going (with new people they must experiment to find the 'right' fermenting and distilling factors). Diageo doesn't really need more Islay output TODAY for either singles or blends so I don't see them opening it again. 10-15 years ago they could have used more output at Lagavulin but their crystal ball said ramp down, not ramp up.
That's what I meant if when the distillery gets resurrected, we accept nothing but the PE we know and love.
But sure, I love to see any distillery to get back on its feet.
Diageo are all too aware that Islay is flavour of the month, and that's precisely why Caol Ila has suddenly been thrust into the limelight. They're prepared to market two Islays, and even bring out some alternative expressions of Lagavulin, but I can't see them investing in (virtually) an entirely new distillery. Even if you triple dog dared them!
Right now, Lagavulin is distilling day and night all week long. Caol Ila's profile is being raised because unless they can get rid of the last little vestiges of blending contracts for Lagavulin there is no way, save adding new stills, to increase the flow out of Lagavulin. Caol Ila, OTOH, has room to grow even though most of it goes to blends (much of it unpeated). So you're right, Diageo doesn't need Port Ellen. To throw money at it now would seem silly and ironically, since the maltings are running there is no way the distillery could be sold to a private party. Drink 'em while you got 'em, folks... I'd quadruple quail dare them if it would help but I don't think it will.
92 Port Ellen 13yo 1982 (43%, Hart Brothers)
89 Port Ellen 19yo 1982/2001 (62.5%, McGibbons Provenance)
81 Port Ellen 15yo 1977 (40%, G & M, screw top)
95 Port Ellen 16yo Dist. 1980, Cask 89/5891/20 (59.3%,Signatory)
It is interesting how disparate views are of Port Ellens. To some, they are very complex, to others, they are not. A function of what exprssions we have tasted?
I don't know, but the 13 year old Hart brothers was very complex, and the G and M was not. In my tasting notes, I wrote " Very dark amber color, which is curious as it says on the bottle that it was matured in oak, which usually means not sherry. Is this artificially colored? Perhaps some sherry on the nose. Let us see. No, very closed, not much sherry sweetness here. A tad spirity. Let's taste. A blast of pepper. And then, more pepper. After about ten minutes a touch of sweetness arrives. Not a very complex malt, but an enjoyable older expression distilled in the 70s"
About the Hart brothers I wrote "Just love this one. A classic young Islay, pepper and peat on the nose and mouth. A tad spirity at first nose, but than it gives way to this wonderfully clean white pepper taste, and this pervasive sweetness that overlays everything. This is just marvelous stuff. Not a very good description, but this is the kind of malt that I could drink every day. It is both easy and complex (to me, Jill found it off putting), I can imagine drinking this in the high summer heat (105 today in Omaha, late July 2006), or on a cold night, when you need something a bit more intense. I just have to get a bottle or two of this one for down the road."
Not sure if these are helpful to this conversation, but I wanted to reopen it.
Wave wrote:Port Ellen is my 1st Islay love and to this day it still holds a deep fascination for me. I got to visit the Port Ellen malting floors during the '04 Feis Ila which was a great thrill with me being a PE fanatic! I've been drinking Port Ellens for some 20 odd years and some of the more notable ones have been a 16yr old 1980 Signatory Cask Strength, a 22yr old 1976 Scott's Selection, and the 22yr old 1979 1st Release.
I would love to get ahold of the 1980 16 yo that I tried...to date, no dice...
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