Every ‘Unicorn’ whisky collection from Diageo should have either a Port Ellen or a Brora as a part of it, right? Well, right. The Prima & Ultima does feature a 40-year-old Port Ellen, which is not even the oldest in this collection if exquisite and very expensive whisky range… [The oldest is the Cragganmore 1971 which broke … 🙁 ].
As for the whisky : It was distilled 1979 and aged in a Refill European Oak Butt [#6422] for 40 long years, yielding 436 bottles.
Port Ellen 40 yo 1979/2019 ,51.2%, OB, Prima & Ultima, cask #6422
Nose: Quite a nice one, starting on lovely wood then off to oil and leather, Not very surprising but it’s also coastal and a bit fruity as well, big on the wax, Parafine, old engine room notes, but fruity as well with banana peel, grapefruit. with time notes of olives, develop along with sweet smoke, seaweed, & brine. Like!
Palate: Quite fierce and still packs a nice punch at 40 – with pepper upfront, then some more brine, tar, seaweed, toasted oak, soot, spent cigar and tea leaves, wax, cocoa powder, oak, more tarry ropes, FIMO (not FOMO).
Finish : Distant smoke, spent cigar, tar ,kerosene and more wax.
Conclusion: Yessir. This one’s an epic Port Ellen, and indeed in level with the Lagavulin from the P&U range, but so very different. Which one would I prefer? A tough question. Head to head, I’d go with the Lagavulin, but only by a very small margin. I am sure many others would disagree 😉