The most sought after of the yearly Diageo Special Releases - the official bottling of whisky from long closed Port Ellen. This 12th release is a vatting of refill American and European oak matured whisky that was distilled in 1979. At 32 years old this was, at release, the joint oldest official bottling of Port Ellen.
Producer's NotesAppearance: Deep gold with bronze lights. Strong beading.
Nose: Very accessible and well paced, developing from delicate to dense through rose-scented smoke, then heather honey sweetness and creamy cereal (syrup and oat flapjack, hot porridge with cream and honey). Great wafts of warm wood-smoke introduce a barley-sugar sweet yet very juicy orange note. Add water, and it’s all more savoury, smoother and rounder. The smoke lingers, above the light oily aroma of waxed jackets and a fusion of tropical fruit, citrus and honey, with sweet oat biscuit.
Body: Very rich, full, mouth-filling and oily.
Palate: The taste combines sweet and sour in an unusual and delicious way, a rich and really fruity smoky-sweetness developing into tongue-coating smooth, bitter dark chocolate joined by exquisite smoke, enrobing a dense choux pastry core. It drinks very well straight, and if water is added becomes more maritime (slightly salty: ozone); dark, silky tannins are backed by tar-rich smoke and a late note of olive oil.
Finish: Quite compact, with silky-smooth tannins veiled in lingering scented coal-smoke. Herbal. With water, a rich, sweet tangy creaminess and a comforting smoky closure.