Single malt whisky - tasting notes

02 May 2010

Ten days of… Port Ellen

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * News

Port Ellen whisky Port Ellen is one of the most enigmatic distilleries. Part of this is due to the fact that it’s closed since 1983 of course, and the number of available casks is rapidly diminishing (although I have the impression bottlers may be exaggerating this to increase the price).

If you think about it, the story of Port Ellen is quite tragic. Most of its production was used for blending purposes, and because younger Port Ellen was not always of exceptional quality, nobody thought it was special as a single malt. Little did they know that after 20 or 30 years of maturation (which was useless for blends, certainly in that era) Port Ellen becomes quite unique.

Maybe the best Port Ellen is already gone. The youngest casks are 27 years old, some of them are probably getting a bit tired, and 1980’s Port Ellen (which we see most often nowadays) is a bit less interesting anyway. Still, let’s enjoy every single drop that’s left. I have some very interesting samples of old and new Port Ellen waiting to be reviewed.

Ten days of… Port Ellen Ruben Luyten 2010-05-02
  • Gal

    you are a lucky man Ruben. waiting to read all about those samples.

    great content

  • Michael

    I am really interested in your notes about Port Ellen, Ruben (I have to admit that I started to rely on your opinion more than other ‘testers”). I have seen that the recent 30YO release is getting very good but not rave reviews. I am still struggling with a thought that it may be the last good expression of Port Ellen and it is finally time to get it. I have been thinking exactly about what you have alluded to: is it a exceptional whisky or it has been hyped by its aura of uniqueness and story behind it? In other words, are current best Islay whiskies (costing $400) as good or better than Port Ellen?

  • Mark Dermul

    Well, there’s worse things than ‘ten days of Port Ellen’, that’s for sure. Ruben, from the original releases, which do you think is the best? I hear a lot of good things of the 3rd release. Do you agree?

  • Ruben

    The 3rd release has a solid reputation, that’s right. I’m going to compare a few official releases soon.

  • Mark Dermul

    I’ll be on the lookout for your notes, before acquiring another bottle of PE. Thank you!



February 2015
« Jan    

  • Jorn: I got myself a sample. For me the full, complete sweetness of this whisky tasted very nice. A whole different experience though.. Few layers, lots of
  • Newfie: Worst "whiskey" ever.... I found it to have more of the flavours you'd come to expect from a decent rum then a whiskey. as both a Jack Daniels and a
  • joeri: You're welcome. Unfortunately I bought this at an auction instead of selling it at an auction :-) 150€ was a bargain for a 1980 Macallan but way too

Coming up

  • Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve
  • Glendronach 1995 #4408 (for TWA)
  • Mackmyra Midnattssol
  • Glenlossie 1992 (Whisky Mercenary)
  • Dailuaine 1996 (Maltbarn)
  • Dailuaine 1996 (Archives)
  • Michters 10 Year Old

1711 notes by Ruben

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