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Port Askaig was launched in 2009 by Specialty Drinks Ltd., produced for The Whisky Exchange, a retailer in the UK. Their current range includes a cask strength bottling as well as a 17yo and a 30yo expression that replaced the previous 25yo bottling. Although officially undisclosed the Port Askaig bottlings are rumoured to be re-brandings of Caol Ila, which - given that Port Askaig is located close to the Caol Ila distillery – might just be true.
The nose is very, very distinctive: I got a lot of brine and furniture polish, accompanied by lemons and a slightly earthy note. There is also a medicinal touch to it. This is interesting, to say the least!
The palate starts with fruity notes – lemon and vanilla – but then quickly becomes peppery and salty. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft.
The finish is long, peppery, salty and gets quite dry towards the end.
I liked this whisky very much. Certainly it was unlike any other that I had tasted in the past. The nose is powerful and quite unique, the fruity elements mingling with the rather dominant earthy and briny notes. The palate was great too, followed by a voluminous and lengthy finish. Be it a Caol Ila or not – this is in any case a very fine whisky.