Port Ellen 1st Release

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2001
Stated Age
22 years old
Number of bottles
56.2 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
20 Feb 2008 5:21 pm
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 3806.65

81 × in wishlist

235 × member ratings

382 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Port Ellen 1st Release

27 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 91.83 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    [March, 2019] Somehow I am in the mood for something special today and so I opened a sample of this legendary bottling...

    ...and yes, this is a special dram. It offers the PE profile at its best and despite it is rather austere it is both interesting and very quaffable (provided you like sweet, peaty and dry profiles). Is it worth today's four digit price? Well, it all depends on your pockets. I will certainly not buy a bottle at these ridiculous collector's and investor's prices - I will wait until the recent bubble implodes (remember: in human history there was never ever such a thing like an endless boom)...
    • Nose
      94 94
      The colour is deep gold and the nose offers the trademark Port Ellen profile of sweet barley sugary, tarry and slightly rubbery (old tyres) aromas. Later some shy fruity (unripe plums and apples) and mossy notes join in and the typical chalky-metal touch which is somehow a PE characteristic. A complex and balanced nose that is very interesting to explore and delicious to sniff - great stuff, indeed! After some breathing it gets dryer on cold smoke and medicinal aromas (plaster, bandages).
    • Taste
      92 92
      The taste is multi-layered on sweet barley sugars first followed by the tarry and rubbery flavours before some fruits step in and finally the hot spices take over (chili, white pepper, ginger). The peat smoke is there all the time and turns the taste more and more dry over time. In a later layer the trademark PE cold copper pops up and stays until the very end of the finish. The sweetness has vanished almost completely now. Water releases waxy and mineral aromas in the nose and turns the taste sweeter-smoother through reducing the dryness and adding some chocolatey flavours. Actually, I like this dram both neat and somewhat reduced to about 46% abv.
    • Finish
      93 93
      The arrival on the palate is charming and instantly coats the whole of the mouth with a fine creamy feeling without any distracting moment. The finish is very long and strenghtens the sweet flavours again which is great. And some maritime notes of salt and seaweed pop up that are delicious. Towards the end it gets very dry on cold ashes and cold metals (copper) but this is rather a pleasant dryness and not too astringent.

  2. AnthoDN scored this whisky 100 points Member Senior

    No ranking, No analitycs notes, No bullshit and No joking : this is a wonderfullfull nectar from God !!! It's almost a proof by itself that God was alive at this time !!!!
    My best lifetime expérience on earth !!!
    It can turn you crazy !!! "C est à se rouler par terre en poussant des petits cris" !!!!

    OK I m not objective at all but with this bottle you can't !!!!

  3. Gregers scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Amazing dram, hard to find any flaws in it.

    Review: https://youtu.be/Upzfboy5ZGU
    • Nose
      92 92
      The first thing is fresh oysters, some minerality, and brine. Then very light smoke, light medicinal note, a bit of lemon oil, fresh hay, more camphor, smoked vanilla, smoked oyster, hot summer tires, smoked herbs and peppers. Surprisingly mineral. Slightly more herbal and flowery after tasting.
    • Taste
      97 97
      Not considering the price, this is a world class dram. It's quite clean and not as complex as other Port Ellens, but the balance is out of this world. Starts off with light medicinal notes, light peat smoke, a very good dose of cane sugar sweetness, lots of barley sugar, alcohol level just right, it's warm and full without biting too hard. A light note of ginger as well. Second chew is just marvellous. Smoke building up more, barley sugar keeps blasting away, more ginger, a bit of black pepper, light toffee notes, vanilla, brine, very light lemon oil. I can count on one hand the whiskies I've had with a better balance than this. Third chew is fuller, has a bit more ginger and black pepper, but it's so juicy my mouth is watering even after it's gone. Smoke and medicinal notes further up a level, the oysters are coming back, slightly fragrant brine. Really a wonderful dram through and through.
    • Finish
      95 95
      Light medicinal notes, perfect amount of peat smoke, barley sugar is still there, very light note of steamed carrots, a bit of butterscotch, some brine, light herbal notes, still good minerality.

  4. ctu scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    Youthful, vigorous Port Ellen, which is not the purity, but rather the expression of dirtiness. Very good one.
    • Nose
      92 92
      Citruses, salt, herbals, smoked meats, peat and tar, seaweed, iodine, camphor
    • Taste
      93 93
      Sweet, creamy, oily: massive peat, salty caramel, coffee, citruses and camphor
    • Finish
      92 92
      Long with citruses, smoke and ash

  5. checkpointuk scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur


    Straightforward, somewhat lively and sharp in the nose. Green, fresh accents of lime, bergamot, maritime sea aromas, some algae and seaweed, as well as dull rope and peat. There is also vanilla and a fine minerality. Getting better on the move after breathing for a long time, but far from the best PE nose!
    Creamy fat, powerfully salty, spicy and extremely polarizing. Vanilla and lime combined with peat, phenol-laden smoke and iodine. Here the peat content is enormously high and mixes primarily in the entire taste - dry-gray-linear and somehow different from the subsequent releases - but that's fun again - great!
    Long - dry peaty and rather unusual metallic here too. The fruit content and the peat content are now declining and the finish ends quite dry.
    Well, we expected a little more - the 2nd and 3rd releases scored more clearly with us!
    92 points
    N: 91P / G: 93P / F: 91P

  6. daverdaz scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Nice smoky and sweet notes. Classically good Port Ellen, but far from the best. Could be more complex ...

  7. Luigisim scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    The only thing I really love is the body, maritime and smoked, The rest is ok, but nothing peculiar.

    I suspect the low fill level of the bottle had played quite a role in spoiling the dram.

  8. BertNEC scored this whisky 95 points Member Senior

    Nose 94
    Taste 96
    Finish 94

  9. checkpointrk scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      91 91

  10. lincolnimp scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    OB Port Ellen H2H result :- 

    1st -  12th release   

    2nd - 2nd Release   

    3rd - 1st Release  

    4th - 22 year Rare Malts   

    5th - 20 year Rare Malts  

    6th - 3rd Release 

    See thread  https://www.whiskybase.com/contribute/group/73/topic/16768/the-head-to-head-whisky-thread-for-tastings-h2h?page=3


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