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Port Ellen hardly needs an introduction. This Islay distillery was founded in 1825, but closed by Diageo in 1983 during the recession because of the subsequent whisky loch. Many fans deplore the loss of Port Ellen. At the time of closure, the distillery had four stills in operation and a yearly outturn of 800.000 liters of spirit. Diageo was forced to make a choice... Lagavulin, Caol Ila or Port Ellen had to close. Port Ellen got the worst of it. By now, Port Ellen has an ironclad reputation, partly due to the hype of the diminishing stocks. Official releases are limited (between 3.000 and 12.000 bottles a year), but it's hard to keep up with the number of independent releases. We're trying one of those now, from 1982, but Gordon & Macphail.
The nose is very soft with peat and seaweed on the one hand and citrus and green apples on the other. Very delicate and rather... well-behaved.
The taste is a replica of the nose, but more powerful, spicy and salted. Nice, good... but still very well-behaved.
The finish is a tad oaky and not as long as one would hope, on spicy peat and citrus.
While this is a well-behaved Port Ellen, it's impossible to not like it. On the contrary. Only the finish was a bit short.