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1982 Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary Port Ellen 35 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 55.1%
For most, the two headline acts in Diageo's stable remain Brora and Port Ellen - both closed distilleries, both commanding big dollars, with a 37 year old being the oldest Port Ellen to date. Independent bottlers, 'Signatory' come close in this 35 year old grandfather malt from refill sherry butt #2040, and it's selling for a fraction of the price of Diageo's official bottling (read $4500+)Bottled June 2018 for the Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary series. 567 bottles on offer worldwide. 55.1% Alc./Vol Other reviews... Paw! Colour: straw. Yes, only straw, greatest of news. Nose: there are three words in the name of the cask: refill, sherry, and butt. The one that’s important is ‘refill’, in my opinion. Indeed, there’s no embarrassing raisins in sight, no half-sulphur, no prunes on a binge, and no unnecessary spices. Rather a very subtle, almost whispering coastalness, with ideas of langoustines, kelp, crab, drops of petrol, and the most complex softer olive oil, the one that’s made out of those small pink olives, the name escapes me. Wonderful complexity here. With water: charcoal, beach bonfire, cigar smoke, lanoline, paraffin… It remains rather incredibly soft and elegant. Hope the palate won’t have gotten weak and flat (yeah right). Mouth (neat): well, given the soft nose, I had thought the palate would be easy and almost smooth indeed. I lose, game, set and match. In truth this is a wonderful example of a Port Ellen that became akin to some kind of peated and tarred limoncello. Add bits of seashells and olives, and there, you have it. Indeed, it’s not a matter of complexity, it’s a matter of cohesion and fullness. With water: please call the Anti-maltoporn Brigade, sofort! Once again, it’s not spectacular, it’s not very complex, it’s not even loud on the markers (tar and such), it’s just a splendid, perfectly chiseled whole. Port Ellen. Finish: and there, it gets more extravagant, more citrusy, almost youthful. Only there, in the aftertaste, we shall feel one or two raisins from the sherry. Comments: seriously, it’s incredible that it would have remained this vibrant, despite the thirty-five years in that old butt. But then again, it was refill…
93 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com