Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Douglas Laing & Co.
ABV: 61.1%
Score: 95 points

Old Malt Cask Port Ellen PLOWED Society bottling. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.Old Malt Cask expressions are usually bottled at 50% ABV, but this one-of-a-kind 22-year-old Port Ellen was bottled in 2004 for the legendary (and highly secretive) PLOWED Society at cask strength: 61.1% ABV. The nose is beefy and robust with notes of roast beef juices, a soft smokiness, a hint of smoked salmon, honey, butterscotch, dried flowers, and caramel candy. The taste is peppery and intense with a soft smokiness, honey and caramel candy sweetness underneath, and a slight flintiness with dried fruits in the background. A few drops of water accentuates the sweetness and adds to the finish, which is long, peppery, and slightly astringent with peat smoke and a touch of oak. Wow! (November, 2017)

Editor’s note: Thanks to Davin de Kergommeaux and Frank Scott for sharing this bottle during a Port Ellen vertical tasting at the 2017 New Brunswick Spirits Festival.