Monthly Archives: January 2020

Port Ellen 28 y.o. (Douglas Laing Old & Rare Platinum) Review

Alright. Let’s us start off 2020 with a bang, yeah? How ’bout a sassy lil indie Port Ellen weighing in just a couple years short of a full three decades?

This one was tasted in a spectacular range of eight different expressions of Port Ellen, including six of the Platinum series from Douglas Laing. The whole range was provided by our mate, Maltmonster, under the guise of ensuring that the whiskies were tasted before those horrible wax seals failed and the malts were compromised. Uh…sure. Let’s go with that. The event itself was a tag team affair between MM and another mate or two. And on behalf of those select attendees privileged enough to attend…all I can say is that we were humbled and grateful to be invited.

While the event was some time ago now, I do still have a few sma’ samples put aside for future reviews. In other words…we’re not done talking Port Ellen. Not by a long shot.

I know some of you love these Port Ellen porn reviews, while others simply roll their eyes. Hopefully there’s more value in archiving notes for these old gems than not, though.

This particular expression – a big, bold 28 year old matured in sherry – is a real cracker. Though I prefer PE in ex-bourbon, these outliers are a real treat from time to time.

54.6% abv. 227 Bottles.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Big sherry notes masking most of the PE-ness. Tar and smoke, of course (else this wouldn’t really be a Port Ellen, would it?). Chocolate. oiled leather. Menthol drops. Cold coffee. Caramelized bark of a perfectly cooked ham. Savoury, smoky and rather brisket-y as well. Some notes of aloe. Licorice All Sorts. Fruit leather. Under-steeped Lapsang Souchong tea. Polished Wood.

Palate: More immediate licorice now. A nice smokiness, neither huge nor one-dimensional. Dried fruit and jammy notes. Raspberry and balsamic. Charred ham again. Black current (real and of the mentholated cough drop variety). Smoked tea again. Some underlying shy notes. And green apple.

Finish: Quite drying (there’s the tannicity from the sherry, I suppose). Fruit skins. Strawberry and raspberry, but…in a reduced form. Long and lovely.

Thoughts: In a way, this is almost not identifiable as a Port Ellen. Strange mash-up of coastal Islay charm and big wet fruitiness. A little bit of a sherried Bowmore-esque quality as well.

89/100

Ever Feel Conspired Against?

Happy New Year, friends. Hope your 2019 was rich in stories and blossoms into some of your greatest memories. And here’s to 2020 being the best yet.

As for me and mine? Well…it’s been a rough go ’round here. The last couple of years have seen some twists and turns in our lives, and very few have been positive. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to let it all get us down. Life is too short to wallow, aye?

This is just a quick note to let you know that I am wading through a few health concerns as we speak. And yes, unfortunately they are concerns that may well limit my ability to do this. Notice I said ‘limit’, and not ‘prohibit’. Just bear with me. I am trying to find a couple of contributors to maybe help share the burden. Easier said than done. I’ve yet to meet my ‘Angus’.

Anyway…I am okay. Until we reach the end of a run of tests here (a wee ways off yet), then it will be status quo. Albeit, a more leisurely-paced status quo.

In the meantime…how ’bout a Port Ellen review?