Duncan Taylor Scotch Whiskey recently released a malt from its “Rarest Collection” – a 40-year-old Port Ellen single malt whiskey dated March 16, 1983. Available worldwide, this limited edition of 209 bottles comes from cask number 667, one of the last batches of Porto. Ellen Production – just weeks before the distillery closed its doors for the final time in May of that year.
At 104.8 proof, the liquid was aged in an ex-sherry European oak cask, with the cask initially stored on Islay, until it was deposited to finish maturing in the vaults of Duncan Taylor’s headquarters in Aberdeenshire in 2010. Each hand finished decanter is sequentially numbered with a signed certificate of authenticity. The Scottish company last released a Port Ellen in 2013.
“When I bought the business from Abe Rosenberg’s family in 2001, the inventory was incredible, with incredible rare and old whiskeys.” President Euan Shand said in a prepared statement. “The Port Ellen casks were the ones that seemed really special to me and we patiently waited for them to mature, bringing that rich, dark color to the liquid. The cask has created an evocative whiskey that embraces the peat of the kilns and the brine of the sea, as well as a succulent, rich fruity base. It’s one of the best whiskeys we’ve released this year.
With a price tag of $7,300, the Port Ellen 40 Year Old is available for purchase in the United States. More details on this can be found at Duncan Taylor Scotch Whiskey website. Below are the official tasting notes.
Nose: A classic Islay sherry. Full of molasses caramel and leather mixed with bright fruity notes of cream-dipped blackberries and strawberries. A touch of zesty citrus offsets the fruity sweetness, and a bit of dark, waxy honeycomb adds depth. Some intense maritime notes of sea spray associated with kombu kelp. Mineral touches of seaside pebbles emerge over time under the sherry fruits.
Palace: Very true to the nose. Dark molasses caramel and more fruit, this time more cooked than fresh. Thick, chewy texture with toasted pecans in the foreground. The leathery, maritime notes linger with some warm spice of clove and cumin. The peat appears like a wood fire floating in the distance on a salt-soaked seaside. A dark, smoky and fruity chutney balanced by a refreshing touch of spearmint. Wonderful balance with all the elements in good balance.
Finishing: Long and seemingly eternal. The bitter dark chocolate notes from the sherry cask linger until the end, accompanied by some spicy toasted oak. The chewy fruits of the caramel continue, but are now slightly drier than on the palate. The peat driftwood fire is now reduced to a few smoldering embers. Once again, the balance is perfect with all the elements singing in harmony.