Port Ellen 25 (Chieftain’s 1982/2005) Review

This is a 25 year Port Ellen expression bottled by Chieftain’s at 43% ABV.

Nose: Murky peat with old rubber, a sort of sweet smoke from a burning pile of leaves, tart tangerine cutting through the smoke, and some dry-roasted peanuts.

Palate: Very salty up front before a dominant artificial type smoke takes over. I imagine it would be like trying liquid smoke – very heavy handed and slightly off-putting. Some musty cardboard and peat peak out from behind the smoke.

Finish: Damp cardboard notes with tarry peat and the liquid smoke notes still in control.

Rating: 81/100 – I’ve only had a couple Port Ellens (never any of the OBs), and I’ve yet to be impressed by them really. This one has such a strange, intense smoke note that really knocked it down a few pegs for me. Nose was typicaly Islay fare (if not above average), but the smoke took over from there.

Value for the money: This looks to have originally retailed around $250. I’d certainly pass at that price or above.

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