Google Three Port Ellen

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2023


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

June 3, 2023


  Many Islay, in celebration of Feis Ile 2023 and of the Queen of the Hebrides





Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Three Port Ellen
Serge requested I do something Islay themed for today's post. Well, any excuse for these three really…


Port Ellen 15 yo 1980/1996 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, Barrel Selection)

Port Ellen 15 yo 1980/1996 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, Barrel Selection)
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: beautifully soft peat smoke, citrussy, briny and with lovely notes of crushed seashells, beach flowers and sandalwood. Definitely the softer side of Port Ellen, but the aromatic subtly and freshness are gorgeous. With time I even find a little grilled asparagus and charred shellfish. Mouth: superb! Brine and citrus juices with pure peat smoke, peppered Mackerel, tar and oily kippers. This more 'dirty' side of Port Ellen's nature is emerging more clearly on the palate. Just brilliant! Finish: long, bright, nicely drying and salty, very coastal and with some pure peat ash notes. Comments: these young Port Ellens can be just brilliant, this one is no exception, and the ABV makes it utterly deadly juice!
SGP: 366 - 91 points.



Port Ellen 10 yo (58.4%, Signatory Vintage, Natural High Strength, Bottling No.2, bottled 1994)

Port Ellen 10 yo (58.4%, Signatory Vintage, Natural High Strength, Bottling NO.2, bottled 1994)
Colour: pale white wine. Nose: in some ways it is obviously similar, but everything is so much sharper and more brutalist with these heavy petrolic vapours, pin sharp seawater and peat notes. Rubber fishing boots, creel nets and raw tar. Ink, seashore dross, wet kelp and iodine! With water: coastal greenery! Grasses, scrubs, wet pebbles, sand dunes - you see what I mean? Lemon juice, ceviche and sandalwood. Mouth: outstanding arrival! Immense power, raw peat, chalk, iodine, black peppercorns pickled in brine and malt vinegar! Going towards mercurochrome, gherkins and pickling juices. There's also green and citric acidity, salted fish, gallons of seawater and bath salts. With water: deeper and fatter, taking on board things like burlap hessian sack, tarred rope, more iodine, sheep wool and camphor. Stupendously fat and pure Port Ellen grubby glory! Finish: very long, wonderfully salty, tarry and vividly on seawater and brined anchovies. Going towards some bone-dry Manzanilla! Comments: Modern Islay 10 year olds do not taste like this. Make of that comment what you will.
SGP: 368 - 92 points.



Port Ellen 1983/2009 (54.2%, House Of Macduff 'The Golden Cask' for Japan, cask #CM139, 301 bottles)

Port Ellen 1983/2009 (54.2%, House Of Macduff 'The Golden Cask' for Japan, cask #CM139, 301 bottles)
Colour: pale gold. Nose: obviously more rounded and tamed to a certain extent by age. But in place is a beautifully honeyed profile full of smoked and herbal teas, dried citrus rinds, aged mead and tar extracts. Many medicinal tinctures and ointments and this similar feel of peat subdividing into many tertiary earth and medicinal aspects, as you often find in similarly aged Caol Ila in my experience. With water: still pretty salty, dryly honeyed, picking up some vegetal and coal smoke notes now too. Mouth: superb fatness and juiciness in the mouth. More smoked orange peel and smoked teas. Putty, hessian, tar, iodine and witchhazel. Also very salty and umami things like soy sauce, squid ink and anchovy paste. In some aspects it becomes tougher as you, but then this is Port Ellen… With water: the texture is pretty fantastic now, very fat, oily and mouth-coating, lots of tar extracts, herbal wines, cocktail bitters and salted liquorice. Finish: long, superbly peaty, tarry, salty, herbal and honeyed. Comments: another top notch 1983 single cask that's hard to refute. Feels like a halfway house between Caol Ila and Lagavulin in some ways, which is no bad thing.
SGP: 467 - 91 points.



Thanks to Hideo!




More tasting notesCheck the index of all Port Ellen we've tasted so far







Whiskyfun's Home