Quote Whiskyfun.com - June 27, 2017
Port Ellen 34 yo 1982/2017 (61.7%, Hunter Laing, The Kinship, bourbon cask, 545 bottles) Five stars This baby from Hunter Laing’s new series that celebrates the beginning of the works at their new distillery on Islay, Ardnahoe. There’re also a Caol Ila, an Ardbeg, a Bowmore, a Bunnahabhain and a Laphroaig. We’ll try those as well, but I thought starting with the PE would carry more panache (any excuses, really). Oh and if they came up with 545 bottles from bourbon wood, it must be a small vatting rather than a single cask. Colour: pale gold. Nose: fruits rather than tar! That’s not unusual with the 1982s, they were often relatively light for PE, while most 1983s got fatter and tarrier again. Now don’t get me wrong, this still has more tar and plasticine than 99% of all other Scottish malts. Great notes of kelp, new floated wood, and perhaps mustard. With water: oh wet dogs (we owe you bags of croquettes, dogs) and muddy waters on Islay. Mouth (neat): totally tireless PE. This baby’s perfectly fresh, even youthful, showcasing an exceptional combination of sultanas (really), dried dates (really), seawater, tar liqueur, rhubarb juice, and massive amounts of green salted liquorice. These casks will never die, they could keep them until the year 2100. With water: careful, don’t drown it. What’s striking again is the fruitiness, you’ve got blood oranges coming out, guavas, pomegranates, cranberries… It’s possible that what happens with old Laphroaig after 25 years is happening with old PE after 35 years. Peat smoke’s transmutation, you know… Finish: long, still fruity and fresh. Granted, this is not Tomatin, but seriously, it’s, well, very fruity. And that’s lovely. Comments: extraordinary whisky, both when neat and when reduced, you can’t make much better on this little planet. Now I’m sure it’s very expensive – haven’t checked the price though. In the thousands, I guess. SGP:656 - 94 points.