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
  • http://whisky.foodnwine.co.il 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?

  • http://www.whivie.be 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?

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

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

  • http://www.whivie.be Mark Dermul

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

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  • Arran 17 Years Old
  • Glen Grant 1992 (Old Particular)
  • Glen Grant 1992 (Le Gus't)
  • Auchentoshan 15yo (Kintra)
  • Lagavulin 1997 Distillers Edition
  • Ben Nevis 1997 (Maltbarn)
  • Tomatin 1978 (Cadenhead / Nectar)
  • Aultmore 2007 (Daily Dram)
  • Glenglassaugh 1978 (Madeira)
  • Karuizawa 45 Year Old (cask #2925)
  • Glengoyne 1999 (Palo Cortado)

1502 notes by Ruben

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