Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary Collection Port Ellen 35 Year (1982)

Scotch Whisky Review #300: Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary Collection Port Ellen 35 Year (1982)

Distillery: Port Ellen.

Bottler: Signatory Vintage

Region: Islay.

Age: 35 year. Distilled on September 2nd, 1982 and bottled on July 31st, 2018.

ABV: 55.1%

Cask Type: Refill Sherry.

Price: Many thanks to /u/KissMeElon for sharing this with me and to /u/throwboats, whose bottle this originally came from.

Color: 0.4, Jounquil/Ripe Corn. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.


Nose: It’s a summer seaside seafood barbecue in a glass. There’s notes of grilling shellfish over a charcoal flame. It’s a combination of a variety of clams, mussels, squid and other mullosks (all smells my mother-in-law would love). A bit of grill charred lemons comes along with a hint of pine in the background.

Palate: The mouthfeel is quite thick and a straight continuation of the nose. There’s more of the shellfish over a charcoal grill. A bit of grilled shrimp comes through to join the mollusks. A hint of citrus is sprinkled here and there. As you go, the smokier notes intensify slightly. It reminds me of the smoke and seafood notes that you get from jjamppong (짬뽕), only without any of the spice.

Finish: Incredibly long. It’s very long with charcoal grilled shrimp lasting the longest. There is a note of smoldering charcoal.


Conclusion: For my 300th review of scotch whisky, I was really pleased to be able to try this bottling of Port Ellen that /u/KissMeElon was kind enough to share with me. When he brought it over, he remarked that he “got why people go crazy over Port Ellen”. I get it too. Despite being 35 of age, the smoke almost rolls out from the moment you pour it. It’s not a completely untamed smoke though like a younger Islay might be. The years have given this a very distinctly maritime character to it, the to point of basically just capturing a summer seafood barbecue in a glass. It just so happens that the wife and I went to visit her parents to celebrate my mother-in-laws 60th recently with just that kind of a barbecue recently. This dram evokes all of those memories in full, from lighting the charcoal on fire to grilling everything to sitting around as the fire smoldered out. Delicious.

Final Score: 97.

Scotch Whisky Review #300, Islay Review #46, Whisky Network Review #443


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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