Port Ellen 27, 1982, Cask 2558 (Old Bothwell)

Old Bothwell, Port Ellen, Cask 2558
Port Ellen from the early Old Bothwell releases of a few years ago. This one is from 1982, the year before the distillery closed for good. I do wonder if anyone has cracked the mystery of how it is that Old Bothwell happened to have all these casks and why it is we don’t see anything else from them. Did Diageo have them whacked? Anyway. Let’s get right to it.

Port Ellen 27, 1982 (55.5%; Old Bothwell, cask 2558; from a sample received in a swap)

Nose: As with cask 220 this is not particularly smoky. There’s lemon here too but it’s both muskier and more bitter; and there’s more olive (oil-marinated Kalamata) and pencil lead/graphite. A similar almondiness. A little more sweetness after a while but it’s minerally and almondy. Greater saltiness after a while, and some tart apple here too (reminds me of a variety we get here in Minnesota called Haralson). Gets almost creamy with time. With water the lemon gets really musky/preserved and everything comes together nicely. Continue reading


Port Ellen 26, 1983, Cask 220 (Old Bothwell)

Old Bothwell, Port Ellen, Cask 220
Old Bothwell are a company that came out of nowhere a couple of years ago with a bunch of well-priced casks of Port Ellen, almost all of which were reviewed very well. They seemingly sold everything they had and no more has been heard from them since. I have a suspicion that their stock was purchased by other companies who have since been charging far more for it but I base that on nothing but my gut; to be fair to my gut though the only other thing it ever tells me is that I’m hungry and it’s always right about that.

This bottle was the first Port Ellen I ever purchased and I remember agonizing over it as paying more than $200 for a bottle of whisky was not something I’d ever done or thought I’d do. Now, of course, the price I paid for this, even if it were far poorer than it is, would be a steal. Diageo’s latest special release of Port Ellen is going for £2000 or so–a 50 ml sample of that would cost as much as I paid for this entire bottle. Continue reading