Not too long ago we wrote that the Thosop handwritten series received a final 19th release, a Tomatin 1976, only available for collectors who had already bought the complete series before.
On a tasting for these collectors, organised by Luc Timmermans, yet another addition to the series was presented, an ‘underground’ Port Ellen 1978. Only 6 bottles exist of this whisky, which was actually ‘lost stock’ that never reached its distributor (just like the Tomatin). We will probably never know where this came from, but apparentely it was bottled in 2005 and now relabeled.
Just 1 of these bottles would leave the Thosop cellar: the names of the collectors went into a hat and one name was drawn. Geert is now the only person who owns the complete series of 20 expressions.
Port Ellen 1978 (55,7%, Thosop Handwritten 2005, refill sherry butt, 6 btl.)
Nose: a balanced nose. It’s flinty and mineral, it has the typical medium peatiness, but also nice apples, sweet lemon candy, even some green banana notes. A little paraffin and butter. It’s great how it changes from rougher notes to rounder notes and vice versa. Let’s not forget to mention the medicinal notes and soft vanilla. Excellent.
Mouth: sweet, very sweet actually and rather creamy. Lemon pie and candied oranges, some plum jam. Then heavier notes of liquorice and peat. Back to pear juice. Tangerines? Peppered marzipan.
Finish: very long, trading some of its sweetness for peaty and peppery notes.
It’s just superb Port Ellen, with the kind of sweetness and roundness that I love to see alongside the punchy peat. Such a lovely dram, and such a shame this is basically a one-off.