Port Ellen 1980 16 Years Old (Cadenhead)
What to say about Port Ellen, the most legendary of all the legendary whisky distilleries in Scotland. If you want some factual information, you’re best of here. But do you want tasting notes of an expression bottled over twenty years ago, by one of the best independent bottlers in the world? Then you should probably read on.
Tasting Port Ellen has never been a common occurrence for me, but it is becoming increasingly rare these days. When I finish this Port Ellen 1980 16b Years Old from Cadenhead, I have just one other sample of Port Ellen in my sample drawer. Luckily though, Port Ellen distillery will be revived 😉
Port Ellen 1980 16 Years Old (62,0%, Cadenhead)
Nose: Lots of minerals and somewhat waxy. Quite aggressive and prickly, but at such a high alcohol percentage, that’s no surprise at all. Just a sliver of peat, and a whisper of brine, but otherwise this Port Ellen isn’t very coastal at all. Hints of cookie dough, ripe apple and pear skin.
Taste: Very dry, and somewhat sharp, with hint of crème brûlée, vanilla sugar and charred oak. Barely any peat, although it is plenty brine-y. Water doesn’t change things much. It just isn’t very complex.
Finish: Dry. Medium in length.
Well, not all Port Ellen is stellar, although some people would like you to believe that. Just because it’s from a closed distillery, that doesn’t mean it’s legendary whisky, right?
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.