• 95

1979 Port Ellen 37 Year Old (Special Release 2017) Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

$4499. 00
$53988.00 Dozen
ABV: 51%
Unanimous Praise. PE fans should have it on their shortlist.

A whisky that always brings high expectations. There’s no denying these older stocks are holding their age quite effortlessly. Number 17 in the series is no exception. Praise for this edition has been unanimous, with several tasters noting its freshness. It's also typically complex with a fabulous range of aromas and flavours.

Tasting note: Drawn from refill American oak hogsheads & refill American oak butts. Brassy gold. Developing smokiness with atypical scents of candle wax, wine-soaked pears and fresh herbal notes. Air contact adds brine, hints of citrus peel and finally gorgeous melon-like fruitiness. Quite beautiful. This follows through with a stunning flavour tapestry, so seamless it’s difficult to differentiate the oak, peat and fruity malt; Love the delicacy and poise. The finish lingers, while the aftertaste dries into powder soft tannins. No blockbuster, but probably one of the finest, most elegant Port Ellens tasted to date. 51% Alc./Vol. 2988 bottles

Other reviews… This 1979 vintage is the 17th Special Releases Port Ellen. It has been aged in refill American oak hogsheads and butts. The nose offers fresh-mown grass, ripe pears, and damp tweed, before smoked fish and bonfire aromas emerge. The oily palate features spicy peat, barbecued meat, and peaches in syrup. Very long in the finish; smoky and earthy, with a hint of chili and mouth-drying tannins. 93 points - whiskyadvocate.com, Reviewed by: Gavin Smith (Winter 2017)

...Indeed, the 17th release, already! It’s from eight refill American oak hogsheads and butts, and well, I love it that they would keep using this superb and elegantly understated ‘Rare Malts’ bottle. Last year’s 1978 was rather fantastic, but perhaps a wee bit more ‘tired’ than earlier releases (WF 91). Colour: gold. Nose: okay, I can already tell you, after just one sniff, that this PE is the best amongst this year’s Special Releases, unless the Convalmore, well, let’s see... Fish oil, smoked salmon, sesame oil, garden peat, wild mushrooms, then rather new wellies (which is oh-so very PE in my book), oysters and their friends the whelks and clams, olives, and hessian/old clothes, old camphory embrocations... A pretty unbeatable nose, displaying superb elegance and depth. Smoky lace. With water: barbecued fish and some fresh rubber, lamp oil, smoked almonds, seawater, ink… Mouth (neat): no no no, this is not possible after last year’s rather shy proposition. This has oomph and zing, it’s extremely bright and kicking, and it displays these divine tropical fruits that can be found in very old Taliskers, Bowmores, or Laphroaigs (1950s and 1960s). Smoky and peppery passion fruits and mangos, you know. It’s also really medicinal, more medicinal that many a PE in my book. Fantastic. With water: swims extremely well, but I think we might have to call the anti-maltoporn brigade. Ever tried to blend grapefruit juice and olive oil? We could go on and on, but we’ll keep this short, as Angus has something to say… Finish: long, and, for once, perhaps the best part. Very old whiskies seldom shine out at this point, in my experience. Salted grapefruit and lemon juices, with some chalk and some shoe polish. That’s foolproof. Comments: let’s be honest, I had thought that Diageo’s annual PEs would become less and less bright, and more and more fragile. I’m extremely glad to be proven wrong. 93 points - Serge Valentin, www.whiskyfun.com