Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky recently released a malt from its ‘Rarest Collection’ – a Port Ellen 40-year-old single malt whisky from March 16, 1983. Available globally, this limited release of 209 bottles comes from cask number 667, one of the last batches of Port Ellen production – mere weeks before the distillery closed its doors for the last time in May of the same year.
At 104.8 proof the liquid was matured in a European Oak ex-sherry butt, with the cask initially stored on Islay, until it was laid down to finish maturing in the vaults at Duncan Taylor’s HQ in Aberdeenshire in 2010. Each hand-finished decanter is sequentially numbered with a signed certificate of authenticity. The Scottish firm last released a Port Ellen back in 2013.
“When I bought the company from Abe Rosenberg’s family back in 2001, the inventory was incredible with some amazing rare and old whiskies.” said Chairman Euan Shand in a prepared statement. “The casks of Port Ellen were ones that really stood out for me as something special and we’ve patiently waited for them to mature, bringing that rich, dark colour to the liquid. The cask created an evocative whisky that embraces the peat from the kilns and the brine of the sea, alongside a succulent rich fruity base. It’s one of the finest whiskies we’ve launched this year.”
With a price point of $7,300 the Port Ellen 40-year-old is available for purchase in the US. More details about it may be found at the Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky website. You’ll find official tasting notes below.
Nose: A classic sherried Islay. Full of treacle toffee and leather mixed with bright fruity notes of blackberries and strawberries drenched in cream. A touch of zesty citrus offsets the fruity sweetness, and some dark, waxy comb honey adds depth. Some intense maritime notes of sea spray combined with kombu kelp. Mineral touches of seashore pebbles emerge with time from underneath the sherried fruits.
Palate: Very true to the nose. Dark treacle toffee and more fruits, this time more cooked than fresh. Thick and chewy texture with roasted pecan nuts to the fore. The leathery, maritime notes persist with some warming spices of cloves and caraway. The peat comes over as a distant driftwood bonfire on a salt drenched seashore. A dark, smoky, and fruity chutney balanced by a refreshing hint of spearmint. Wonderful balance with all elements in good equilibrium.
Finish: Long and seemingly everlasting. The dark bitter chocolate notes from the sherry cask persist to the last, along with some spicy toasted oak. The chewy toffee fruits continue, but now are slightly drier than on the palate. The driftwood bonfire of the peat is now reduced to some smouldering embers. Again, the balance is perfect with all elements singing in harmony.
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