Port Ellen Single Malt Scotch
The beautiful country of Scotland is unequivocally known for producing some of the finest and most sought after spirits the world over. It goes without saying, that no example better represents the country’s ability to produce perfected libations then the aptly named brew called Scotch. Now if you have ever walked down the Scotch/Whiskey aisle of your local liquor store its almost unfathomable how many distilleries must be in Scotland. It seems as though there is at least one distillery for every four miles or so. Like any other form of business, some of those distilleries fared better than others over the last couple hundred years and unfortunately I recently came across an amazing example of Scotch produced by a distillery that closed their doors nearly three decades ago. Now although their doors have been shut for over 28 years, it’s not impossible to come across a bottle here and there, so feel free to keep reading.
Port Ellen Distillery was founded in 1824 and after a series of openings and closings its operations were finally shut down in 1983. Although Scotch production has ceased the malting of the barley process still continues today and Port Ellen still supplies most of the maltings to the distilleries on Islay.
The nose of the Port Ellen is bursting with peat and a slight sweetness which mostly masks the alcohol scent. The flavor was bold and powerful with a slight smokiness enveloped within a dominant peat profile. Surprisingly, even though the Port Ellen has a fairly high 55.3 ABV, the scotch is well balanced and finishes clean without a long drawn out burn. If you consider yourself a well versed scotch consumer then the long and storied history of Port Ellen as one of the greatest scotch producers that just couldn’t make it work is reason enough to search for a vintage bottle. I know it can be difficult but, don’t be put off by the price, at about $375.00 a bottle; this is a special scotch that should be reserved for equally special occasions. In the end, Port Ellen Scotch is not just a bottle filled with booze, but rather an amalgamation of long traditions and even longer aging. Believe me, it’s worth it!
Price: $300.xx-$400.00 per bottle
Characteristics: Strong peat profile with a bit of smokey spice.
Verdict: Search and Consume!