I'm not completely sure but I think that Port Askaig is one of the generally not so recognized and "founded" whisky. It has been left in the shadows of the Islay's big players. It kinda reminds me of the Coen brothers. Just like Coens, Islay produces so much quality stuff that people start to critique them more often.
Burn After Reading wasn't critically aclaimed but it still was a good movie. I could imagine Port Askaig 12 getting the same destiny. For me, both, the whisky and the movie were actually better than good. They were great. Most of all I enjoyed the way Port Askaig's 12 year old burnt after I had poured it down my throat.
It was like sailing a salty sea with a burning wooden boat. Phenolic peat and ash was with me all the way. Finishing rather quickly but intensily. I had just found another gem from the yet so flawless Islay. For me Islay is the Coen brothers of whisky.
Nose: Ash and wood burn with a phenolic touch. Honey is involved as well. Gives an earthy feel all the way.
Taste: Salty and sweet with ashy smoke and dry peat. There's some stony feel there as well, like you're tasting it from a rock cup.
Finish: Lemons mildly emerge from the ashy smoke and turf.
Balance: Medium bodied and very well smoky addition to my "taste cabinet". This has very much character.
Want this in the US. I had a glass of the 17 at a whisky bar in San Francisco (Nihon - It is amazing). Unfortunately, it is not sold anywhere in the US. Not sure how Nihon had bottles of the stuff of various ages, but they did.
Guess I will have to give Whisky Exchange a go. Glad to hear that the 12YO is a good un as well!