Whisky Review: Milano Whisky Festival 2009 Port Ellen 1983 Over 26 Years Old

Style: Spicy and Smoky


Begins with a quick whiff of barbeque smoke. Baked fruits, pretty deep and oily aroma. Then underneath we have tar coating, paprika and even some faint gunpowder. Brazilian grilled pineapple, tropical fruits fragrance radiating beautifully from the core. Chilli flakes and a pinch of curry powder. The sweetness softens and taking a slight citrus edge. Subtle mineral and oyster shells. Bonfire smoke slowly grows and dawdles in the background.


Relentless spice runs rampant on the palate like angry waves battering the shore. Ashy air, boiled tropical fruits are carried all the way by the waves. Habanero chillies, white pepper, the expression is hyper-charged by fiery spice. Fruit punch, grapefruit and kumquat gummies follow through and brimming beautifully. More ash, burnt oak, over-toasted vanilla sticks with a soft mineral brush. The heat is still red hot at back palate. A smoky dark chocolate tail.


The bitterness lifts its lid and some tropical fruits escaped from the hot clutch. Still a bit ashy. The sweetness unwinds gingerly to show a relatively peaceful finish.


Phew, sometimes Port Ellen can be quite intense. There is so much power injected into the expression which has effectively compressed and sealed the tropical fruits heart which lies deep within. If you give it plenty of time, the magical sweetness will unlock and blossom fabulously for you. Clearly, patience is a virtue. I remember talking about how strong Port Charlotte is a while ago, but man, Port Ellen is really on another level, I wonder if this kind of distillate will/can be replicated again.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[56% | Independent Bottling | 1983 Distilled | 2009 Bottled | Single Cask | 156 Bottles | Cask Strength | 156 Bottles | Non Chill Filtered | Non Coloured | **-]