Port Ellen (Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask) Cask #3887 27 y.o.
These little forays into Port Ellen nostalgia are about to become a lot more scarce than they have been in the past. I think I may have three or four more malts from this closed little piece of heaven to review in the next…well…whenever, but after that the well ’round here is really running dry. I do know of an opportunity or two in the future that may change this, but serendipity has to be on my side. Crossing my fingers.
Anyway…this one was tasted (again) at a recent Dram Initiative event I hosted. If you’re not ‘in the know’, the Dram Initiative is our local whisky club, named for that esoteric little conclave from Lost. We like wordplay, and definitely like the more cerebral aspects of modern civilization (such as programming that actually had script and plot, as opposed to halfwit celebutantes and Jersey shore inbreds). But I digress. Suffice to say, the club put on one hell of an event for the 80 plus members in attendance. Eight Port Ellens spread over a couple hours of history, sentiment and shared opinion. This 27 year old indie from the Laing brothers was the second last of the eve, and, incidentally, the second favorite of the masses.
It’s a quintessential Port Ellen as far as I’m concerned. Very typical of the distillery’s profile, and very much on ethat helps perpetuate the PE mystique. I’ve said it many times before (but not sure whether or not I’ve done so here on the site): Port Ellen is a whisky that matures well. Late 20s are a great (I’d argue optimal) age for this distillery.
Nose: Citrus, and quite a bit at that (lemon and lime this time). Vanilla. Salt water. Slightly herbal (hints of green tea). Biscuity, with some nice fruit notes (orange and berry). Chocolate. Freshly milled grains (seems ‘dry’ and dusty). Expected peaty, smoky notes are an afterthought.
Palate: Very typical Port Ellen profile. Great arrival. Delicate. Citric. Quite oily. Tastes of subtle white scone or biscuit. Tart fruit notes. Smoky and peaty. Granny Smith apple skins. Toothpicks. Leaves behind salt licorice.
Thoughts: Right in my wheelhouse. A great outing from Port Ellen that wears its years well.
– Images & Words: Curt