Port Ellen 1979 37 Years Old (For Whisky Live Tel-Aviv 2018) Review

In exactly one week, Whisky Love Tel-Aviv 2018 will be in full swing. I’ll be there and I hope my Israeli readers will visit this great exhibition too. But what is an exhibition without a commemorative bottle? Of course there’s one but Tomer Goren, the man behind the event decided to bottle a special whisky for Whisky Live and what a special whisky it is: a 37 Years Old Port Ellen.

Yup, this is no mistake. We have a Port Ellen bottling for the Whisky Live show. It was distilled in 1979 and bottled in 2017 after it spent 37 years in a refill Sherry Hogshead that yielded 241 bottles at 44.8%.

For such a pedigree, the price is very very reasonable especially when comparing to other independent bottlers Port Ellens out there. Shall we check it out?

Port Ellen 1979 37 Years Old (For Whisky Live Tel-Aviv 2018) (44.8%, 3000NIS/€700)

Nose: Aged gentle wet peat. Very farmy at first but after a while it’s morphed to earthy peat kind. Sweet red fruits in the background with fresh strawberries and raspberries. Hay and dried grass, moss, hints of apricots and honey. After a while there’s nuttiness and it becomes smoky like a smell of an empty chimney.

Palate: Gentle earthy peat smoke, a few ashes flacks, honey, farmy and then some more sharper peat, nutmeg and cinnamon, raspberries and strawberries paste, oak spices, white pepper, oak and spices bitterness at the end.

Finish: Medium length, subtle peat, honey, nuttiness, lingering gentle fresh red berries sweetness and white pepper.

Thoughts: It’s not a bold Port Ellen whisky and it’s a very lovely whisky. The cask is inactive with wood and sherry impact being very minor and the key word here is subtle. Everything here is gentle and you feel the age impact and the slow chemical reactions that happened during those long 37 years. There’s a nice back and forth play here between the farmy notes, earthy and smoky notes and the sherry fruitiness and spices. The whisky isn’t overly complex but is very very drinkable (very dangerous with an expensive whisky!) so I’m glad I purchased a piece of history.

(Official sample provided by Goren’s Whisky LTD)

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