• 96
  • Reduced

1978 Port Ellen 14th Release 35 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Reduced from $3,999.00
$2999. 00
$35988.00 Dozen
ABV: 56.5%
Closed distillery / crazy discount. Selling for well over $4K overseas, it’s your chance at one of the all-time great Port Ellens.
"Finally, a Port Ellen that is truly, classically mature. A killer." - Dave Broom, whiskyadvocate.com

Established on Islay's south coast in 1825 by A K Mackay and Co, Port Ellen closed its doors for the last time in the slump of 1983, but the whisky made in the 17 or so years between its re-opening in 1967 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. Always highly sought after, this edition is limited to just under 3000 bottles world wide.

Tasting note: Deep gold, polished brass. Initially peppery and malty; second pass reveals a peat-driven aspect with a fine tuned balance between freshness and smoke; think dried citrus peel and tobacco plus hints of iodine. Later inhalations seem to deepen and richen with the accent towards fruit cake before vanilla malt comes to the fore and the peat retreats. Delicious, salivating, fruity-yet-dry delivery includes choc-fudge laced peat, hemp, salt and pepper followed by lanolin, salt and juicy fruitiness to finish. Outstanding balance and length. Concludes as it began, maintaining the malt, oak and smoke in a controlled tension. 56.5% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... Scarcity and the secondary market have driven prices up, so either buddy-up to a rich guy, or club together to try this. Greater levels of cask interaction have added an extra dimension to a whisky that is often skeletal. The smoke’s in the background, as salted cashew, peppermint, tansy, furniture polish, and smoked meats take center stage. The palate is slowly expanding and smoked, with some chocolate and wax. Finally, a Port Ellen that is truly, classically mature. A killer.
93 points - www.maltadvocate.com, Reviewed by: Dave Broom (Winter 2014)

Let’s try to forget about the heavy price tag, and focus on the juice! After all, should you test-drive a new Ferrari, you’ll focus on the engine and the chassis (and the brakes!) more than on its price, won’t you. But is this a Ferrari or is it a badged FIAT? Let’s see… (apologies, I’m known for my very crappy car analogies, but I just can’t help.) Colour: gold. Nose: its quite brutal! At this pace, they’ll still have ‘young’ PE by 2050, unless the stocks are almost depleted indeed (which they are since around 2000 anyway, ha!) After that initial burst of alcohol and creosote, many smaller elements are falling into place, one after the other. Turpentine, eucalyptus, tincture of iodine, seaweed, almond oil, pink grapefruits, tobacco smoke, chartreuse, coal, walnuts and apples… But rather less tar than expected. With water: some very nice notes of white wine (sour) and brine, humus, fir smoke, damp wool, garden bonfire… Mouth: triple bang! It’s huge, it’s massive, it’s sharp at the same time, and it’s almost… young. Quite some smoke, a little fish oil, grapefruits and lemons, smoked tea, liquorice, kippers, green tea. A lot of lemon zest, with something rather green, pungent, tannic… Grape pips? Cider apples? Not an easy baby for sure, but it’s not a peat monster. With water: the greenness is even more obvious. Liquorice wood, grass, green apples, kippers, maybe a wee touch of chlorine (nope, I’m using my usual Vittel), grapefruits, a little salt… And bags of apple peelings. Finish: long, rather on cider apples, smoked fish… The greenness remains. I have to add I’m finding little tar in the aftertaste, just a little – better late than never! Comments: we’re very close to last year’s release, as far as I can tell, this one being maybe just a notch rougher. On the other hand, it’s a very moderately tarry PE that’s probably less ‘immediate’ than earlier versions. Oh, and quality remains very high, of course… 91 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com