Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Distiller
ABV: 57.3%
Score: 94 points

Port Ellen 2003 Third Annual Release. Photo ©2017, Mark Gillespie/CaskStrength Media.The third in Diageo’s series of annual Port Ellen releases was this 24-year-old single malt distilled in 1979 and bottled in 2003 after 24 years of maturation. Driftwood smoke and peat jump out at first on the nose, along with butterscotch, honey, dark chocolate, anise, and touches of dried flowers and herbs. The taste is thick and oily with a pepperiness that builds up to a nice crescendo, along with hints of driftwood smoke, dried flowers and herbs, butterscotch, and a touch of dark chocolate. The finish is long, tingling, and almost effervescent with peat, a mild smokiness, chocolate mint, and a hint of bitter lemon. Wow! (November, 2017)

Editor’s note: Thanks to Dr. Nick Morgan of Diageo for providing this bottle for the Port Ellen vertical tasting at the 2017 New Brunswick Spirits Festival.