Tasting Notes by Diageo
Barrel: American oak barrels (hogsheads) refilled and European oak barrels refilled (Butts).
Color: Polished teak, good beading
Aroma: Refined and unobtrusive; essentially dry; Smoke at first, then unfolds a wave of well-known sweet and smoky notes, accompanied by jute and warm wood tones. All this indicates his advanced age. Smoke also comes closer and smells more fragrant, while the wonderful aromas of honey-marinated smoked meat or root vegetables float over it. Throughout, a fresh, cleansing note develops, competing with sweet mint, tangy lemon and vinous tones. Finally, soft notes of dark cocoa appear as well as some vanilla and other wood smoke. Add water, first sweet, then a little more tinted and spicy, before the clear fruity sweetness returns.
Taste: Wonderful in natural cask strength. Sweet, tingling and dry, with a great blend of wood ash, roasted marmalade tart, molasses toffee and caramelized orange. Then all-pervasive smoke with a spicy herbaceous note and cloves. Water makes it cooler and softer but does not change its well-balanced taste profile. First dark toffee, then smoked meat, kippers, ashes and purifying phenols.
Finish: Long, cooling and complex; dry, but also enveloping. Instantly appetizing, with candied apple, toasted toast, lemon zest, ripe red apples and burnt plum cake. Very herbaceous and heavy with woody smoke, softer with water.
Remarks: Sovereign, finely tuned and highly complex Port Ellen, full of sophistication; with an effortless balance of sweet fruit notes and intense delicious aromas of citrus, honey, smoke, fire and oak - the oldest port Ellen ever bottled. To put it in the words of a taster, "those old Port Ellen just keep getting better!"