Review of Gordon &
MacPhail Rare Old Port Ellen 1980 by Murray Cohen.
& 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
Murray Cohen's Tasting Notes:
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.
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
Long, magnified syrupy sweet peat and fire place
essences encrusted with demerara sugar.
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.
You can find the full current Gordon
& MacPhail and Benromach whisky
range's available from specialist
online whisky retailers such as