Port Ellen is now breaking the 30 years limit, which is good news as it’s one of these distilleries that get better after long maturations. Most of the remaining (independent) stocks seem to be 1982-1983. This one was bottled by Malts of Scotland from a sherry hogshead.
Port Ellen 30 yo 1982 (58,6%, Malts of Scotland 2012, sherry hogshead, MoS 12017, 298 btl.)
Nose: sweet peat and sweet sherry. Milk chocolate ganache, roasted nuts and mocha. Cigar leaves. Cured ham. Mixed with tarry ropes, smoke and delicate camphory notes. Keeps growing sweeter over time, on rhubarb jam and plums. Finally big notes of warm sandalwood. Top notch sherried Port Ellen.
Mouth: whereas the nose was maybe more sherry than peat, this is mostly Port Ellen spirit speaking. Peat, candied lemon zest, ashes and herbs. Cured ham again. Chilli pepper and a pinch of salt. A hint of sweetness as well (raisins and chocolate) but less so than on the nose. Quite a bad boy! Water makes it smoother but not really softer: still mainly on herbs and coastal notes.
Finish: long, herbal, slightly bitter and quite maritime / salty.
A good, sherried Port Ellen which reminded me of PE1 and a 1983 by Duncan Taylor. Same profile, maybe a tad sharper this time and a bit less complex. Powerful whisky that’s quite smooth at the same time. Around € 225.