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Port Ellen 1979 30 YO, 9th Release

Port Ellen 1979 9th Release

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@VictorReview by @Victor

8th Dec 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed sample is of a 1979/2009 30 YO Port Ellen, the 9th release from 1979. Many thanks to @maltster for the sample

Nose: really gorgeous peat flavours, gentle, yet strong enough to make an impression. The peat seems to manifest both sweet and sour at the same time, and also in a nice alternation. Smoke influence is quite mild, but pleasant. The barley shows me both apple and grass flavours. There is a bit of a perfume of flowers and very mild grape. Beautiful. Water accentuated the floral elements and greatly lessened the influence of the peat

Taste: the flavours are much sharper and more defined on the palate than in the nose. These are rather strong flavours, actually. Much sweeter on the palate than in the nose. Otherwise, the translation of flavours is good, with the addition of more gravelly lower register tones from the peat than showed themselves in the nose. This is far more robust on the palate than in the nose. On the palate this is more of a peat-head's beverage. Halfway through the palatal delivery the sweetness give way to more of a sourness. Water mellowed everything out and reduced the intensity of the flavours

Finish: long, strong, and moving strongly toward the sour, and slightly bitter, by the close. With water, interestingly, the full intensity of the flavours later resurfaces going into the long finish

Balance: this is a beautiful dram which lost the balance between sweet and sour from mid-palate into the close. I love the sharpness of the flavours, and the nuances of peat and floral perfume in the nose. For me the surfacing of sour/bitter flavours mid-palate prevents this from being an all-star whisky

Practical comment: this would make a great $ 100 whisky, but at $ 300, I would always pass it up

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