Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection Port Ellen 28 Year (1982)

Scotch Whisky Review #428: Wilson & Morgan Barrel Selection Port Ellen 28 Year (1982)

Distillery: Port Ellen.

Bottler: Wilson & Morgan.

Region: Islay.

Age: 28 Year. Distilled 1982, Bottled 2011.

ABV: 60.0%.

Cask Type: Butt.

Cask Number: 2033.

Price: $65/oz.

Color: 0.5, Yellow Gold.

This dram is the first of 2022’s Christmas Countdown! Whiskies from previous years can be found here.

Nose: It is quite gentle at first, there’s not even an inkling of smoke whatsoever and just a bit of fruitier notes. With some time in the glass, the smoke starts to roll in pretty hardcore. It doesn’t overtake everything, the fruitiness still remains, but it certainly takes a major role. Notes of plums and lemons come through before you get a more dried fruit note. The dried fruits are more of those you might find in traditional East Asian medicine, dried jujubes and dates specifically.

Palate: It is a lot gentler than the 60% ABV tag suggests it might be though there is still a bit of an edge. There’s a sweet, fruity, and slightly floral element to this. Lemon syrup/curd and honeyed camomile tea come to mind. There is a gentle smoke note towards the back. A tiny bid of water takes off the edge nicely. Notes of honeyed lemon and honeyed camomile teas really shine here. The smoke note takes on some of the sweetness from the fruitier notes, almost like a nice sweet barbecue sauce. Some meaty elements do come through as well with the two resembling barbecue ribs a bit.

Finish: Medium in length. The meatiest note comes through here in the end in something that reminds me of burnt ends. The honey note sticks around too with a buttery element that reminds me of a honey buttered biscuit.

Conclusion: Right before Thanksgiving, /u/KissMeElon put on an “old Islay” tasting. Amidst a bunch of 30-something year olds (reviews of the Bowmore, Bruichladdich, and Laphroaig) was this young whippersnapper of a Port Ellen. This one turned out to be quite different than the only other Port Ellen I’ve had, that one was very much a summer seafood barbecue in a glass. This younger Port Ellen was much fruitier on the nose and had floral accents throughout that paired very well with the honey and slightly meatier notes very nicely. Overall, really tasty and a really fun to pick through.

Final Score: 91.

Scotch Whisky Review #428, Islay Review #70, Whisky Network Review #582

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and 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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