The second cask of Port Ellen 1982/2009 by Old Bothwell. It’s funny how Old Bothwell labels often say “cask type: oak”. What a surprise!
Port Ellen 26 yo 1982 (55,7%, Old Bothwell 2009, cask #2473)
Nose: a bit dirty I’m afraid. Maybe not real sulphur but something like plastics and cooked cabbage. Cask #2545 didn’t have this at all, but overall it’s not too bad. It goes out of focus after a few minutes. Now there’s liquorice and gunpowder (great), quite some leather too. More smoke than cask #2545, more wood as well. Beefy notes, some tobacco and nice forest fruits.
Mouth: sweeter than the other cask, with a sort of honey coating around the peaty center. Just as peppery though (not unlike a punchy Talisker). Much more on dried fruits and sherry. Getting more salty in the end with hints of grapefruit, but the bitterness is much better under control here.
Finish: very long, the saltiness disappears slowly and the fruitiness takes over.
I guess the oak type can be identified as a refill sherry cask. Don’t mind the dirty notes, as long as you don’t compare it directly to other whisky, you’ll easily get over it. Or maybe you simply like that particular profile. The good side of the sherry coin is the fruitiness and the lack of bitter notes. Around € 150.
ps/ No need to tell you this, but preferences and opinions may differ of course. Both releases were a huge hit at the Spirits in the Sky festival and practically the whole stock has been sold. It seems a lot of people liked them even more than I did. Check The Bonding Dram if you want one of the last bottles.