Single malt whisky - tasting notes

08 May 2010

Port Ellen 6th release (1978)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Port Ellen

This Port Ellen 1978 (6th release – 2006) was part of an Islay sampler pack as well. The 20cl version is filled at 54,3% whereas the full bottles are filled at 54,2%. I don’t think the differences are substantial.

The 6th was the most limited release by the way (4560 bottles).

Port Ellen 6th release Port Ellen 27 yo 1978 ‘6th release’
(54,3%, OB 2006, 20cl)

Nose: quite shy at first and rather simple. Lemon and coastal notes, but it doesn’t seem to open up or show more layers. With some hand warmth, a certain fruitiness does come out: yellow apple, some melon. It seems slightly more sherried than the other two (hints of prunes). Very gentle. Very lightly grassy. Mouth: less coastal than the other two and certainly less salty than the 3rd. Spicy hints of nutmeg and pepper. A nice layer of honeyed sweetness, but in the end it seems to fall between two stools. It’s not as sensual as the 7th release and not as powerful as the 3rd. Finish: slowly fading, holding the middle between earthy peat, pepper and softer vanilla notes.

On the nose, you could name this “the fruity one”. With a little help, it shows beautiful fruity notes that are not to be found in the 3rd or 7th release. Yet, on the palate it’s more like “the undecided one”. Not bad at all, especially when assessed on its own, but it suffers from the direct comparison and it’s less expressive than the other two. Around € 275 but quickly rising.

Score: 89/100

ps/ Please mind that the 6th release gets quite a high score in the Whiskybase community. In the end, it’s all a matter of personal preference of course. What’s undecided for one person is balanced for the other.

Port Ellen 6th release (1978) 4 Ruben Luyten 2010-05-08
  • Joshua Farmer

    Most on the money tasting notes I’ve read on this release so far.

    I just cracked open a bottle of this today and it took me a while to get it as it’s very understated, but you realize after a couple of drams that’s it’s actually an incredibly remarkable drop.

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

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  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
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1601 notes by Ruben

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