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1978 Port Ellen 16th Release 37 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) - Special Release 2016
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- ABV 55.2%
For most, the two headline acts in Diageo's 2016 collection remain the Brora and Port Ellen - both closed distilleries, both commanding big dollars, with the latter being the oldest Port Ellen bottled to date. Drawn from refill European oak butts and American oak hogsheads filled in 1978 with a total outturn of 2940 bottles, it comes as no surprise that this was the stand out for many who tasted the collection in Europe late last year.Other reviews... It was a 1983 last year (WF 92), but we’re being offered a 1978 again this year. Ooh, the ultra-punchy Rare Malts 20 and 22, remember? Colour: refreshingly golden. Nose: some say Port Ellen is/was best at around 25, and that’s not totally impossible if you ask me. This is absolutely lovable, but it may be missing of that that, say impact that younger PEs had. Around luxury cardboard (?) and cough syrup, with a little plasticine, as well as a touch of, wait, could that be sage? Verbena? A little quiet perhaps, but water may make it furious, let’s see… With water: water works very well. Seawater, first rain, hessian, and well-brewed old Pu-erh tea. But it didn’t get any more furious, after all it’s become an old lady… Mouth (neat): oh! Unexpectedly sharp and millimetric, on smoked lemon juice. I should have taken the 22 Rare Malts for due comparison today, like I did yesterday with the Brora 1972. My bad, it’s too late… With water: rather smoked brine. A little camphor as well. Finish: long, and very peaty. It did not lose its smokiness! Comments: on par with the 1979, I’d say. Careful with water. It’s a bit like those old sports cars, you dream of them, and when you drive them, you’re a tiny wee tad disappointed. Just a tiny wee tad, I’d call that the ‘E-Type effect’. But no worries Jag people, we love you. So, a truly superb old PE, for sure, but the bodywork may have become a little more flabbergasting than the engine (and no it hasn’t got any brakes).
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