Chieftain’s is, as you are probably aware, is one of the labels by Ian Macleod Distillers – independent bottler and also distillers as they own Tamdhu & Glengoyne and are currently working hard to revive Rosebank. This Port Ellen was released already in 2006 and thus totally extinct.
Lovely, smoky nose with hints of flinkts, lemon acid, hay, salt (but less than expected) and the paper of a freshly printed book. I can smell the yeast, without it becoming disturbing. Dried roses. Orange blossoms with a hint of vase water. Again: it does not disturb. This is quite intruiging, in fact. Sweet malt and caramel appear and become surprisingly bit, upholstered with strawberry gum, making the nose very sweet. This is very pleasant.
Syrupy on the palate, but very big. Picquant on pepper, salt, nutmeg with hints of curry. Citrus becomes dominant (lemon, lime), while licquorice and green tea join the fray. All of this against a smoky background with a slight bitterness of the wood. Very complex and satisfying.
The typical salty notes of Port Ellen are somewhat subdued in this grand finish, by citrus and hay, but the balance is perfect. The bitterness at the death is sublime.
My god, this is truly out of this world!