Port Ellen 1983 Golden Cask (27yo) Review and Notes or why Port Ellen is an iconic distillery

Last review was from a not-so-heralded distillery from Diageo portfolio, yet the Caol Ila 25 is a good and affordable dram. But today we go to the other side of the pendulum, going for a rare and expensive whisky from one of the two iconic distilleries in their portfolio: Port Ellen.

This one was a big surprise. Last summer I toured UK/Scotland and on the way north I passed through Tyndrum , the small village where The Green Welly Stop whisky shop resides. Ever heard of them? Awesome shop with solid web presence where you can buy them in a matter of few clicks. I’ve been chatting with Craig, the guy behind their web presence for a long time and was sorry to hear he wasn’t around that evening I passed through. Still, he prepared me a surprise goodies bag and this little Port Ellen bottle was in there. Oh how was I surprised!

I don’t need to tell you the story about Port Ellen distillery, right? Way too many articles, ink and pixels were devoted to that but sufficient to say that nobody could forecast the rise of Port Ellen to iconic status back in the 80s (post closure) or in the 90s and any Port Ellen bottle on the market is snapped up by drinkers and collectors although lately it must be more of the latter type as the prices are on a high rise and the latest official bottling of Port Ellen is on sell for 2,200 quid.

As you don’t get too many chances to try such rare and expensive whiskies nowadays, and the the liquid level was generous, I felt compelled to share this luscious whisky with others so this is exactly what I did and so three people enjoyed this lovely dram.

As one of the other benefactors is another whisky blogger, today we present you the readers a cross-blog review of this lovely dram! You can read Michael’s review at Malt and Oak blog and my notes right here and

Port Ellen 1983 Golden Cask (52.5%, 27 Year Old)

port ellen 1983 golden cask CM136Nose: oh boy, you just can’t hate that old, wet and dumpy peat on the nose. Especially when it comes with old Oloroso sherry. there’s some oak tannins here, raisins and a mix of sour and sweet plums. Overall its very gentle yet powerful and with old library dusty feeling which I could sniff for hours.

Palate: Sour berries, sweet wet earthy peat, oak spices, sour plums, and toward the end chocolate and espresso.

Finish: Long finish, spicy deep in mouth, sweet oak and sherry, a bit of peat and nutmeg.

Thought: Awesome Port Ellen whisky and a real treat. The truth is that there are some less then stellar Port Ellens out there as not all casks were made equal and distillation process wasn’t yet so scientific and organized, but this one is top notch. This is one of the reasons that made Port Ellen an Iconic distillery (marketing and collectors potential being the other two cornerstones) and I’m grateful to The Green Welly Stop staff and Craig in particular for the opportunity to taste it. And don’t forget to read what Michael thought of it!

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One thought on “Port Ellen 1983 Golden Cask (27yo) Review and Notes or why Port Ellen is an iconic distillery

  1. Pingback: Port Ellen 27 by Golden Cask and a Cross Blog Review | Malt and Oak: Whisky Tasting Notes | Whisky Guide | Whisky Blog

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