While plans for re-building the Port Ellen distillery are set in motion Diageo (via Port Ellen) have recently release a 39-Year-Old single malt from original, finite stocks .The brand introduces the first exclusive release of the “Untold Stories Series” worldwide; an exploration into the innovative and trailblazing background of this iconic Islay distillery. Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe(50.9% ABV) is one of the oldest releases from the revered distillery. A limited 1,500 bottles are available from selected luxury retailers globally with an RRSP of £4,500!! Yes, that’s right four thousand and five hundred quid – quite a lot of money.
Happily I was able to taste a wee sample of this liquid gold (no other way I could afford , or buy such a bottle). I bet most of the people buying it are die hard PE collectors, and quite affluent ones, and as we well know – most bottles will remain unopened and decorate the shelves (and safes) of their owners – even a better excuse to try this one. Let’s try some.
Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe, 39-Year-Old , 50.9% , £4,500
Nose: green Peat, lemon sherbet, Heather vanilla and wood char. Chamoix leather, sea breeze, and then some fruit as well : mosty lemons and limes, some tropical notes building in the form of melon, unripe banana and maybe a hint of sultana as well.
Palate : light Peat, moss, vanilla, dough and leather. Very light ashy, charred wood,pepper, wax, dunnage warehouse, with soot and mint, finishing in slight saltiness, and chocolate (after 8?), and spice. Quite some old wood which is maybe a bit over the top.
Finish: quite long with a lime note, more wax and distant notes of bandages and camphor with some wood.
This is a very good Port Ellen indeed, quite delicate for 50.9%, which makes it even nicer to sip, even without water (though you should add a drop or two just to explore). Is it the best Port Ellen I’ve ever had? Hard to say, but probably not. Still very good also after 39 years… Let’s hope the new distillery bottlings will be as good in 40 year’s time.
Available at best of Whiskies for € 4.545,45 / € 5.499,99 (VAT)
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