The second installment of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare series, this time composed around Port Ellen.
Of course the amount of Port Ellen that went into this is small. In an interview Jim Beveridge said they only added the level necessary to make the blend smoky, and anyone who know smokiness in blends know that you don’t need a lot of smoke in there to have that overt smokiness.
Anwyay this Ghost & Rare release includes Port Ellen but also grain whisky from the ‘ghost distilleries’ Caledonian and Carsebridge, as well as whisky from Mortlach, Cragganmore, Blair Athol, Oban and Dailuaine.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label ‘Ghost & Rare’ – Port Ellen (43,8%, OB 2018)
Nose: balanced but fairly rich, with a buttery, malty core, mild spices (pepper and cinnamon) and stewed apples. A nice waxy side. Marmalade. Some vanilla custard and a sweet and sour berry note. Some smoky notes in the background.
Mouth: good balance of sweet maltiness, earthy / leafy notes and ashy smoke. Plenty of oranges, floral honey and just a faint tropical sweetness (mango maybe). Toffee. A distinct coastal side as well. Evolves on aromatic spices and floral notes, bordering on fragrant notes.
Finish: long, on smoke, malty sweetness and toffee.
Really good in the sense that Blue Label is already a really good blend. The added value of the Port Ellen seems rather small though. Less impressive than the Brora edition in my opinion. Still available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange.