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Year 1983 was the worst for Scotch whisky industry following World War II. Over 20 distilleries closed due to whisky overproduction and lack of demand. Port Ellen was one of the victims; being the smallest of the three Islay distilleries in DCL portfolio practically stood no chance. By the end of the Century independent bottlers sold most of the remaining stock of Port Ellen with Douglas Laing & Co. offered the widest selection. (Port Ellen was a favorite Islay dram of Fred Douglas Laing, the company founder). The Old Malt Cask expression from 2008 contains whisky distilled in September 1982 and aged in refill sherry butt no. DL 4808. After 26 years the cask yielded 731 bottles at 50% abv.
Nose: nicely balanced, delicate peat smoke, vanilla, hints of marzipan and honey, apples, lemons, quince jelly, salted nuts and hay.
Palate: pretty sweet, honey, butterscotch, raisins, sweet pastries, bitter orange marmalade, candied ginger and a whiff of peat smoke.
Finish: long and rather spicy, with notes of pepper, ginger and lingering peat smoke.