This bottling actracted my interest because it said “matured in a wine treated butt”. I’m not sure what this means, but I suppose it’s an American oak butt that has been infused with sherry for a couple of weeks (without the wine actually being matured in this cask) before being filled with whisky.
Nowadays this practice is more common than you may know (‘real’ sherry casks are expensive), but it’s rarely mentioned as such. I really appreciate this kind of transparency.
Tim already raved about this one.
Port Ellen 27 yo 1983 (55,7%, Signatory Vintage 2010, cask #231, 501 btl.)
Nose: like an embering fire on a beach, that you’ve just fuelled with some diesel oil. Smokey and coastal. Sweet hints of almonds, or even better, almond butter cookies. Some wax and lemon. Hints of overripe fruits, could this be the wine influence? Quite medicinal as well. Really high-end. Water makes it a bit more feminine, with a tiny hint of vanilla, more wax and hints of fruity wine. Pretty awesome.
Mouth: big and compact, peaty, sweet and salty at the same time. Pepper and citrus. Lots of iodine. Grows sharper over time. Very explosive. Here as well, water lifts the sweeter notes, mutes the peat and highlights some zesty citrus.
Finish: peppery and grassy hints, fading on sweet peat smoke.
Don’t be fooled by the wine treatment, this is an exceptional Port Ellen that compromises very little. It’s great to play around with water and watch it switch between its monstruous peat side and its feminine vanilla side.
Not exactly cheap though: around € 190. Available from most international shops. Master of Malt also sells samples.