Port Askaig 1997 Single Vintage (2018)
We’re continuing with another review of one of the 25th Anniversary bottlings for Dutch importer Bresser & Timmer. We’ve had a few very good ones already these past few weeks, but now it is time for a heavily peated expression, courtesy of Port Askaig.
Port Askaig is a brand owned by Elixer Distillers, who are responsible for the excellent Elements of Islay range, among other things. Most of the early Port Askaig whiskies were sourced from Caol Ila, but as Oliver Chilton explained at the 25th Anniversary tasting where this particular bottling was presented, that is not always the case anymore.
This Port Askaig 1997 Single Vintage, is a single cask bottling of heavily peated Bunnahabhain. As you might know, over the years there have been a significant number of independent bottlings of peated Bunna from that vintage. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise then, that this is another such example.
Port Askaig 1997 Single Vintage (56.3, Elixer Distillers, 2018)
Nose: Quite earthy, but also plenty of sweet cereal and grassy notes. Yes, it is heavily peated, but shows good balance and maturity. Tart green apple and lemon peel, with a roasted peanuts and honey-glazed walnuts, as well as pickled onions.
Taste: Soot, lots of ash, and tar as well. Much more intense than the nose (and the age) suggests. Pretty medicinal too, and a good amount of salt and sal ammonia, followed by licorice and cracked black peppercorns.
Finish: Lingering medicinal peat and salt. Long.
The difference between the nose and the palate is remarkable, with the latter being much more in your face than expected. Nonetheless, this is another excellent anniversary bottling for Bresser & Timmer.
Photo: Bresser & Timmer
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.