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1983 Douglas Laing & Co. The Old Malt Cask 50° Port Ellen 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 50%
Established on Islay's south coast in 1825 by A K Mackay and Co., Port Ellen was closed in the slump of 1983, but the whisky made in the 17 or so years between its re-opening and final closure has acquired a reputation as some of the finest to have been made on Islay in that time. Following two outstandingly successful Rare Malt bottlings in 1998 and 2000, Diageo has released an official bottling of Port Ellen every year since 2001, although it is presently unknown how many more of these bottlings will be forthcoming as stocks get lower. There have also been myriad independent bottlings, particularly from Douglas Laing and this one from Signatory. Prices for Port Ellen have increased steadily over the last decade as the reputation of the distillery grows and supplies dwindle.
The whisky is a versatile malt, though with considerable differences of style evident between different bottlings. Some sherry-casked Port Ellen can be beautifully rich, spicy, sweet and leathery; bourbon and refill casks often show a more austere, peppery medium-weighted style. Common characteristics, though, are a high level of peatiness and, in the best examples, a phenomenal complexity which Islay fans adore. For these reasons Port Ellen has become one of the most sought-after of the lost distilleries by collectors, investors and aficionados.
Distilled February 1983 and bottled in October 2008. Matured in a refill sherry butt no. 4687. 609 bottles produced. 50% Alc./Vol.No tasting notes available. One bottle only, supplied without gift box.