Master Of Malts
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Location: Lincolnshire England
|Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2022 12:37 am Post subject: 5 Port Ellen Official Releases v 5 Independent single casks
|This H2H was just to see how the Official releases of Port Ellen, stack up against some quality independent single cask offerings.
Tasted OB/IB/OB/IB and so on to mix it up a little
IB-1982 19 year 61.7% The Bottlers cask 570 - 92/94/95
IB-1980 16 year 64.4% cask 5105-5110 GM – 92/94/94
OB-1978 20 year 60.9% Rare Malts - 91/93/92
OB-1978 29 year 55.3% 8th Release – 90/93/92
IB-1983 28 year 58.9% cask MoS 11011 Malts of Scotland– 91/92/91
IB-1983 28 year 55.5% cask S1462 Silver Seal – 90/91/91
OB- 1979 30 year 57.7% 9th Release – 89/91/90
OB-1978 27 year 54.2% 6th Release – 88/89/91
IB-1979 36 year 56.6% cask 10914 Douglas Laing XOP – 90/87/88
Extra OB 7th Release 70cl 53.8% – 89/88/87
OB-1979 28 year 54.7% 7th Release (20cl bottle)– 88/87/86
Tasting notes in order tasted[u]
Re taste for a PE H2H, tasted with a few tiny drops of water.
The nose is like a rock pool, great stuff.
Brine, peat, seaweed, bitter lemon, grapefruit and the faintest touch of lime but also hints of the sherry used.
More like the peat you get in a good Caol Ila than a Laphroaig or Lagavulin
Lovely, creamy peppery peat, that assaults your tongue, then the brine comes in with a cracker biscuit note, the creamy lemon and grapefruit notes is overrun by the peat but the overall effect is really good.
The finish has more pepper and a slight overripe fig note but just great.
My last score of 90 was too stingy up to 92 average
DL 1979 XOP
Lemon,grapefruit, wet pebbles, lemon sponge cake but also an industrial note, like an old mechanics garage.
Very creamy but then a massive wave of white pepper peat but unexpectedly it runs off into the distance and does not hang around leaving a faint beechams lemon taste and not a lot else to be honest.
The second large sip is better, and the flavours are good but the flavours go to quickly.
Quite mellow for a Port Ellen with some lemon sherbet and a nice afterglow for want of a better phrase but it loses flavour too quickly.
The thing is the balance is better with a dash of water.
Nothing wrong with this, just a bit tame for me and it is one that adding what causes a bit of a dilemma.
7th release 54.7% 20cl bottle
The nose is a little too light and not that expressive, hints of brine and lemon but not much else, strange?
Plenty of peat and pepper on show with hints of lemon, but again like the nose not much else is coming out.
Just peat now and some bitter lemon, quite long but not that interesting.
Tried it neat next to be sure and it is a little better neat but still lacks star quality, it is sweeter so scores a little higher neat.
I wonder if the 70cl bottle with a slightly lower abv (53.8%) is any different?
Yes it has more pepper but again not enough overall
7th release 70cl bottle 53.8%
Re taste for a H2H after only scoring the 20cl Islay collection bottle OB 88/87/86.
This is a little better than the 20cl bottle but downgraded to 89/88/87, my palate is obviously changing?
1980 16 year GM
The nose is a little closed, maritime peat and wet stones is the order of the day here
Ok at 64.4% this is powerful but because it is creamy it is actually ok although for the first time in many years I cannot only feel it in my throat but the top of my chest is also affected, wow that is restrained power and very good balance with it.
This is an earthy , dirty peat more in common with the best peated 1970's Brora than Port Ellen's, as I love old Brora, I also love this.
Nothing more to say really but I suppose I should try it with water.
That is just the ticket 5 small drops of water from a pipette and this thing has exploded into life.
Sweet peat, sweet grapefruit, white pepper, clean , fresh and sharp.
Port Ellen at its best.
Port Ellen 8th Release
In some quarters the PE 8th Release is almost a poor relation compared to other releases, because it is not as in your face with the peat.
A poor relation just like the Brora 25 year 7th Release which also scores less than its siblings in similar fashion.
The thing is I rate the 25 year Brora OB higher than most people and in the same way I think this is better than most other people.
I like because it is subtle with the peat, has no rough edges and does not assault your palate like some of the others do.
Excellent , refined PE that can be drunk neat no problem.
Inoffensive , quite closed, not hint of any Port Ellen power, the sort of power you would expect from an official release.
The peat does smell coastal, with a little brine and some stewed fruit, quite restrained.
Spicy at first and then the peat and fruit arrive but it is a little bitter at first but the balance is ok.
The fruit and spice are much more pronounced now, stewed plum, fig and apricot with a refined peat that is not crisp or explosive but rather dirty and mineral and I like it a lot.
The finish is not the longest but it picks up a little sweetness which is welcome and fades gently.
The Bottlers 1982
This i think is the best Port Ellen I have tasted for a long time, excellent stuff.
The finish is the best part.
This has a potent nose, dirty mineral peat, coal dust, charcoal, cream with an almost brandy like quality to it provided by the stewed fruit.
Peppery peat that is also quite drying at first is followed by the rich fruit that is like baked apple and plum, with a little apricot but what you notice is the balance which is top draw stuff.
More fruit comes through after a few minutes but absolutely nothing is out of place.
Awesome, warming and just fades slowly no roughness only finesse.
This is neat remember and a whopping 61.7%, no need for water.
The nose just gets better and better neat.
With a splash of water:-
The only difference is a little bitterness and more pepper so my advice is have this neat for the ultimate Port Ellen experience.
OB 9th Release
A little distant at first, mainly on white pepper, hints of peat and distant fruit, not very expressive to be honest.
Rich peat from the off, thick and juicy with stewed plum and apple and bags of pepper spice, this has a lively attack from the off.
After a while a mixture of grapefruit and fresh pineapple mixing with the peat & spice which is really nice.
This is shorter than I was expecting with the pepper not increasing an a little sweet apple appears on the tail.
No need for water on this one.
Malts of Scotland 1983
This is not a palate busting, bruiser of a Port Ellen, this is subtle and refined because the palate is so balanced.
A creamy coastal peat that is also a little ashy with stewed fruits of dark plum and fig.
Palate is a little bitter so I added a few tiny drops of water which brings some sweetness out. The balance is what you notice here and everything is on the subtle side, for a Port Ellen anyway
This is an oily PE even more oily than aged Caol ila, and it is lovely.
The stewed plum, apricot, fig and maybe a little mango is mixed with a great sherry and peat combination, nothing outshines anything else, everything is in sync.
Some pepper appears on top of everything else and it fades slowly, with a little syrupy sweetness on the tail
6th Release OB
This is a subtle PE which needs a little water to get the best out of it, but still it lacks a bit of sparkle for me.
This is a little distant at first, wet pebbles, hints of seaweed, rock pools, white pepper with a little green apple in the distance.
Mouthfeel is fine but the attack of flavours is well lacking a little?
A little water is added to see if it improves and it does with some nice pepper coming out and the peat is really restrained with some plum and hints of treacle and toffee Finish
This is where it picks up a few marks as it comes together nicely the pepper is slightly dominant but the fading fruit of plum and now a little peach works really well.
1983 Silver Seal
The first thing you notice is a nice pineapple & grapefruit note, then it has a pepper & peat combo.
Something earthy almost farmy , wet stones, and then hints of lemon marmalade, plenty going on.
Lively, peat is there from the off and pepper but not much fruit, slightly bitter apple and plum.
A few drops of water are added which give some added sweetness and a little smoke, the peat is now creamy with a chewy mouthfeel.
Towards the end another wave of pepper comes out and a little ginger with the fruit increasing on lemon & lime peels.
Pour me a glass please.