Single malt whisky - tasting notes

02 May 2010

Ten days of… Port Ellen

Posted by: Ruben Luyten 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!



December 2014
« Nov    

  • Tony: I suppose the Wemyss latest 1982 "Smoke on the Water" is comparable to a Bladnoch, and was "only" £120, with great reviews from Serge (although not c
  • Duty: My last 30-yo Caol Ila Single Cask was purchased at £55 about 5 years ago. The Bladnoch Forum CI 30 was 55 + the 25-yo was £45 as I recall.
  • Tony: yeah - the price is why I have held off. I bought 3 indie 30 year old Caol Ilas for the price of this one. There are nearly 6000 bottles - will be ha

Coming up

  • Caol Ila 30 Year Old (2014)
  • Elements of Islay Cl7
  • Benromach 5 Year Old
  • Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3 258ppm

1680 notes by Ruben

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