Port Ellen 26yo Old Malt Cask
A ghost Islay distillery, Port Ellen closed in 1983 and bottlings are becoming rare, and very expensive. I picked this up quite a few years ago after an Islay tasting, as I'd enjoyed it, and I think it's a criminal shame that most Islay whisky is bottled so young. There's no reason why they have to be ball sack rippingly vicious, try an old one and feel the power and complexity...
I can't find a link for this particular bottling, so here's a general Port Ellen one.
Nose: salt, peat, new leather, fireworks
Palate: subtle, spicy, sulphur, fireworks
Finish: med-long, throaty, salt, warm, mulled wine.
Glendronach Allardice 18yo 46%
Nose: Sherry, sweet, honey, furniture polish, cake
Palate: tasty, sweet, toffee, honey, fudge, xmas cake
Finish: long, xmas cake
The Cabal seems to be liking the Glendronach's, certainly a sherry monster, but very yummy.
Glengoyne 17yo 43%
Nose: old socks, chopped nuts, dairy milk chocolate, ozone
Palate: chocolate, bit watery, oranges, raisins, sherry, green apple
Finish: medium, chocolate, sweet
Glengoyne pops up quite frequently here. I like it, which can be traced directly to Neil. As can Edradour. The 17yo is very quaffable, and comes highly recommended from our professional quaffers.
Jura Diurachs own 16yo 40%
Nose: sweet, chocolate, oranges
Palate: chocolate, sweet, seaweed/sushi, xmas,
7-7.5 /10 "Very quaffable"
Bit of a surprise this one. I know everyone raves about Jura, but I've never been a huge fan. Always seemed to be missing something, possibly they'd been built up too much. So we went into this one not expecting much, but really enjoyed it. Interesting whisky, and worth trying. Usefully Jura are selling it in smaller bottles (not sure what size, I guess 375ml?) so won't kick the wallet too hard.
Benriach Tawny Port 15yo 46%
Nose: fighty, salt, sweet, acetone/acridine, antiseptic
Palate: salt, port, bad red wine but not in a bad sense,
Finish: salt, med-long, warm character
To quote the previously mentioned Neil, we'd describe this as 'bats-arse mental'.
We like Benriach, their whiskies have huge character, are very different, and even though they throw up a lot of unexpected flavours, are brilliantly balanced.
Port Charlotte 9 59.2% Bottle 2950/6000
Nose: salt, bacon, iodine, medicinal wipes, phenol (industrial!)
Palate: chocolate, sweet, raisins, salty, fighting
Finish: long, spikey, chocolate high cocoa, raisins
Addition of water chilled it down a bit, but increased the chocolate and sweetness, less fighty nose but more bacon. Called "bandage compress" by one of us.
I like the PC's, and I like how the flavour profile has changed over the years. If you like your Islay's, and like them complex, go for the PC.
SMWS 127.3 8yo Refill bourbon 67%
Having said there's complexity in the PCs, we threw this one in as a PC where subtlety is not the main focus of the booze.
Nose: light, salt, bacon, "cold medicine", iodine, wood chips
Palate: very drinkable, leather, burger rings, sweet, bourbon
"what a way to go"
Addition of water gave:
Nose: medicinal, phenol, floor polish
Palate: warm, rubbery, chocolate, gin n tonic, sweet, honey
Finish: warm, big, long
We finished the evening with the SMWS 121.39 'Easy Drinking Dram' which we've reviewed a few times before.
We have a few lined up for the next tasting, so I guess we should get on with planning that....