‘Light, subtle excellence’
N: This is an improvement on the first bottle i tried [maybe its the improved bottle level]. Its slighty lighter in colour too. More chocolate up front and more fruits, less peat, much less genericness and with more finesse and subtlety - the oily/mineral notes coming across particularly delicately. This is in a different league to the last bottle offering more complex flavours such as beeswax, violin resin, melted butter mixed with a drop of cream, a light fruity carbonate [some random note from days of playing with Sodastreams], with more peat showing, joined by an old leather sofa, sweet apples, NZ Sauvignon [gooseberries], sweet plum pie and discarded hazelnut shells. Its a touch cardboardy but moves to a fruit juice/peated/oak maltiness after time in the glass. Quite some spirit showing against the peat levels, especially in comparison to the last miniature but there is certainly harmony here. More butter now, white & unsalted mixed with a squeeze of lime, sweet potato vodka, the peated grain swirling around as if engaged in a mesmerising dance. After maybe an hour ill settle for chocolate covered, peated apple crumble with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top, served with a melon & papaya fruit salad. Absolutely stunning, it never stops divulging.
T: Delicate, light but silky-rich arrival, sleek oily, malty grain development turning to a salty>peppery, dirty/mineral peatiness - with lemon and orange juice joining the party before the peatiness moves to a charring. Goes into the finish prematurely where often id expect a little more magic. Simple but delicious stuff with a delectable mouthfeel.
F: Theres a heavier oak charring into the finish before becoming oily again with more [light] lemon & orange juice and salt ’n’ pepper. Mainly disappears to a light, oily, creamy grain/spirit with salty, charred/peaty ash on the tip of the tongue. Theres a subtle and light chewiness at the end with that [faint but] familiar PE finale with a [cigarette] ash mouthful lingering for ages and ages. If the delivery was a little subdued, Its all here for the last act.
C: Podium places [gold to bronze]: Nose/finsh/taste. I had a hunch that the last bottle wasn’t a Port Ellen. This one certainly is and an excellent one at that. Sadly its still compromised by the abv level but its fantastic all the same. In three words: Light, subtle excellence.
Scores an A-