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The second Port Ellen from the Elements of Islay-range – the so called PE2 – is as rare as the first. It sold out in less than 24 hours. If you want to get hands on this, be prepared to break the piggy bank! I tried it H2H with the PE1. This one is a tad darker than the first one.
This one too has a heavy nose, but is a lot softer than PE1. More accessible. Again bitter chocolate and smoked ham, but sweeter. Not fruitier, though. Does that make sense? Heavily sherried, sure, but more like (for lack of a better word) sherry. Roasted nuts and marzipan (well, that would mean almonds, which are nuts as well, errr…). But this one has a lot more rubber. Tyre of a bicycle, struck matches, ashtray, that sort of thing. Worcestershire sauce! It’s has to be your cup of tea. It is mine. Adding water does change the profile a bit. Less sweet, more meat. And more bicycle tyre.
Hmmmm, it’s very creamy on the palate. The peat is master, but the sweet does prevail in this case. Blood oranges – skin and all – lime, grapefruit (well, citrus, you get the picture) and cocoa. Roasted nuts return. The whole is very peppery and surrounded by smoke. Good stuff. Adding water brings out the sulphury notes.
The finish is sweet and sour on Worcestershire sauce (can you say that three times in a row?), pepper and licquorice.
They are obviously in the same league. The nose on PE1 is simply unparalleled (and even that is an understatement), but on palate, I preferred PE2. Softer, more accessible and less in your face with the peat. It’s all a matter of tastes, of course.