An absolutely stunning example of how a peated malt can mellow into one of the most breathtaking spirits on the planet. This is whisky pulled from the cask at its apex and bottled to be held in a perfect state of suspended animation.
You may not be able to get behind all that Diageo does, but it’s hard not to give credit where credit is due. Case in point; these natural releases of Port Ellen. Some better than others, of course, but man…they really are in a league of their own.
Now before I start fending off the ‘Islay fanboy’ accusations, just keep in mind that this is a 27 year malt. 27 years to age and soften, develop and ‘become’.
The nose…coastal and oh soooo sexy. That beautiful mature peaty profile plays well against a backdrop of fruit cocktail and Lemon Pledge. Notes of salted greens and melon. Phenols are rather tame and old wood brings that vaguely dusty latex scent. Creamier than I would have expected in all honesty, but still manages to hit some of the more jagged tors that cask strength Islay whiskies often boast. And finally…notes of seaside familiarity. At this age…rather delicate (even at 54.2%) and Caol Ila-ish.
Large and in charge delivery. Oily and bold. Love the smoky seaweedy notes and coastal profile. Dusty cask, licorice, tar and iodine. Green apple skins on the finish.
A great dram. In short supply, but long in our hearts.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt