1979 Gordon & MacPhail Port Ellen 34 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
$1999. 00 Bottle
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 Gordon and Macphail. Prices for Port Ellen have increased steadily over the last decade as the reputation of the distillery grows and supplies dwindle. Tasting notes: Pale gold appearance. Delicate, sooty, oily peat. Mushrooms slowly from the glass after brief aeration. Notes of salted cracker and kelp emerge before rich malt begins to pulse through the smokey lather. Third pass finds hints of liquorice bullets, then the bouquet turns full circle with subtle seaweed aromas repeating. Middle weighted profile showcases a seamless integration of sweet smoke, spice and juicy malt with the peat restrained towards the finish as distinct honeycomb emerges. Maintains text book balance - still fresh despite the late sweetness. The honeycomb reverberates with the subtle smokiness and continues with terrific staying power. Confident. Elegant. Very debonair. 46% Alc./Vol.