Whisky Focus - Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen 1980 Review

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen 1980 Review

19th January 2017

Review of Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen 1980 by Murray Cohen.

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen 1980 ReviewThis Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen 35 Year Old was distilled in 1980, matured in a refill American hogshead barrel and bottled at 46% ABV in 2016. A limited release of only 275 bottles.

Many of the single malt whiskies in Gordon & MacPhail's 'Rare Old' range will never be seen again including this Port Ellen 1980. It is from another era, Port Ellen is one of the three main villages on the Isle of Islay and one of the two ferry terminals on the island. The distillery was established back in 1825 and saw a few changes in its time, it was mothballed as surplus in 1983. The still house was demolished in 2003 so it is certain that the Port Ellen distillery will never produce malt whisky again.

Murray Cohen's Tasting Notes:

Colour:  Gold.

Nose:  A Port Ellen whisky with a much mellowed olfactory profile; the peat has matured to a fine essence, not overpowering. Not what you would expect perhaps but it works perfectly here. There is a thread of anise that coils aromatically around the expression.

Taste: Full-bodied. Chewy and voluptuous, peppery and sweet simultaneously; the peat now awakens along with the smokiness but tows the line and flaunts its proven maturity with innuendo rather than forcing its way along.

Finish: Long, magnified syrupy sweet peat and fire place essences encrusted with demerara sugar.

Comment: Definitely not your typical Port Ellen. The 46% ABV in addition to the 35 years in the cask has molded a liquid work of art.

SMW Score 96/100

You can find the full current Gordon & MacPhail and Benromach whisky range's available from specialist online whisky retailers such as Master of Malt

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