Buying an Islay Collection pack is a popular way to get hold of an official Port Ellen bottling without braking the bank. However, these 20cl versions don’t contain the same whisky, and most of them are bottled at a different strength. In this case, the 20cl bottle contains 54,7% alcohol instead of 53,8% for the 70cl bottles. The reason is that they’re probably bottled at a different moment in time.
Port Ellen 28 yo 1979 ‘7th release’
(54,7%, OB 2007, 20cl)
Nose: this one seems to be more floral, with much more vanilla. A great balance between the coastal notes (tarry ropes, seaweed) and candied notes. Big big vanilla. Lots of almonds and marzipan. Sweetened lime juice. Whiffs of mint. I adore this combination, it’s like peated candy.
Mouth: this is the most complex Port Ellen in this trio. The candied notes remain, but they’re mingled with herbal notes (ginger, soft pepper), liquorice, Lapsang Souchong… Rather delicate peat. Some notes of cocoa.
Finish: long, a tad more coastal now. Dry hints of oak and walnut skin.
A nice crescendo, starting soft and feminine (close to the Port Ellen 9th release in that respect) but growing stronger on the palate. Outstanding composition and one of the best (explicitly) peated drams I’ve come across.
My personal favourite because of the wide flavours and the stunning nose. Still available in some places. Around € 275.