Port Ellen 40 Year Old ‘9 Rogue Casks’ was the second (and last?) installment in the Untold Stories series. It is composed from nine casks filled in 1979 (four American oak hogsheads and five European oak sherry butts).
The stories goes that they all had a slightly deviant (lighter?) character and weren’t selected in other bottlings by the master blenders because of this. In the brochure I read that two of the casks had lots of tropical fruit notes – releasing them as a separate bottling, thát would have been rogue. Are you reading this, Diageo?
Port Ellen 40 yo 1979 ‘9 Rogue Casks’ (50,9%, OB ‘Untold Stories’ 2020, 1380 btl.)
Nose: a fairly restrained but complex, leathery nose with hay, linseed oil, walnuts and a soft hint of medicinal balms. Wet wool. Unused bags of herbal tea. Some tangerine and lemon peels in the background, even a very subtle hint of peach sweetness. Very mild hints of smoky embers, fatty notes and a bright top note of pine needles.
Mouth: again very elegant despite the essentially bold flavours. More leather, with cigar leaves, cardamom, Tellicherry pepper and hints of waxy fruits. Tangerines with a pinch of salt (funny but it works), as well as some sweet menthol and oak polish. It misses some of the briny punch that we found in other expressions (at around the same age) but I wouldn’t call it light or soft.
Finish: long, a bit darker now, with tobacco and tea leaves, citrus peel and lingering puffs of smoke.
Indeed this is not the most coastal, most powerful Port Ellen expression I’ve had. That’s not a bad thing: it’s elegant and simply excellent. If only the price… Most online shops seem to be out of stock but I’m sure there are still a few bottles in stores near you.