Single malt whisky - tasting notes

21 Oct 2009

Port Ellen 9th release (1979)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Port Ellen

The Port Ellen 9th annual release is probably one of the most anticipated bottlings of the yearly Diageo special releases. This is the first official 30 years old Port Ellen. While some shops have already sold their complete allocation, you can still find some bottles. I’ve compared it to the 6th and 7th release (which will be posted in the near future).


Port Ellen 9th release 30 years Port Ellen 9th release 30yo 1979 
(57,7%, OB 2009, 5916 btl.)

Nose: seems a bit more modest than most previous bottlings. The peat influence is rather soft and coated in a honeyed sweetness. Dried fruits and pears. More medicinal (antisepctic) and maritime notes than other official PE’s. Slightly mentholated and grassy. Lemons and a touch of vanilla. Almond. A confident 30yo gentleman really. Mouth: coating mouth-feel, sweet delivery with a coal smoke centre. Soon the spices kick in (pepper, nutmeg) and it gets drier. Hints of lemon biscuits and salty liquorice. Powerful and balanced. Finish: long, fading on smoke, spices and liquorice.

After an 8th release with seamingly disappointed comments, this is a rewarding high-class dram. Especially the nose is excellent. Around € 260.

Score: 92/100

Port Ellen 9th release (1979) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-10-21
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  • Marc Michels

    Excellent blog!

    Will you post notes as well for the
    Benrinnes 1985 23yo and
    Pittyvaich 1989 20yo ?

  • Ruben

    Thanks Marc.
    Not at this time, maybe later.

  • Barman’s Choice

    I checked your PE Daily Dram tasting notes and a little surprise for me the same points of this release and the Nectar bottle.
    For me this release is one of the best PE what I know and the Daily Dram with its less characters cant show that beauty parts of PE.
    I would like to ask if you have the choice tasting this malts together,what do you think about them?

    btw I like your notes

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December 2014
« Nov    

  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no
  • WhiskyNotes: The real problem is that Caol Ila isn't selling (mature) casks to independent bottlers any more, from what I've heard, so chances are low we'll see mo

Coming up

  • Inchgower 1975 (Maltbarn)
  • Octomore 6.3 258ppm
  • Peated Irish 1991 (Eiling Lim)
  • Ardbeg 1974 for Christmas
  • Spirit of Freedom 30 Years
  • Elements of Islay Cl7
  • Benromach 5 Year Old

1681 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.