Port Ellen 1980 Signatory [Feather’s Flight Review Set #1]

Port Ellen Sig

And here we are, finally, at the last review of the Feather’s Pub Flight[1] . If you haven’t been following, Here are the links to all of the other reviews:

Part 1[2]

Part 2[3]

Part 3[4]

Part 4[5]

For the final installment, we have Port Ellen 1980 Signatory, a 16 year Cask Strength independently bottled and with no colour added. Port Ellen closed down in 1983, however each year there are collector editions that are released, as you may have noticed in the past couple months when the Port Ellen 32 Year 12th release flooded the front page. I’ve heard mixed reviews, so I am hesitant going into this one. Here’s hoping it lives up to the collectors hype.

Price: N/A

Abv: 59.8%

Region: Islay

Colour: Light pee

Nose: Sour wine, cedar smoke, the Malayan woods pavilion at the Toronto Zoo, peat, freshly tilled gardens, ham, croissant, Stilton (light), iodine

This has that tropical smell to it, however there’s something almost blue collar that takes over after the fact. And that’s not a negative. It’s starting to remind me of my manual labour days, or when I was a child and I helped my grandmother plant potatoes in her garden. She always had her flower bed in full swing when I came to help her. Let’s see where this goes.

Taste: Smoke, salmon, iodine, cherry peppers, pork sausage, cloves, pickles, tannins, Macadamia nuts.

The flowers are gone for me now. Or perhaps it’s because I associate a lot of the different herbs with the above flavours, so they stuck around. Or maybe because it just smells like a place with trees, I don’t think about them as much, as I grew up around more forested areas. This feels very familiar now, almost like a meal I’ve had in the past.

Finish: Cloves, sea air, heavy peat, bacon, portobello mushroom, laying sod in the summer, light maple, lime cranberry juice.

I know what this tastes like now (see conclusion). The finish has that traditional Islay taste profile, medium in length. Pretty standard, very nice to finish out the flight.

Conclusion: This Scotch is the ploughman’s lunch of whisky. You have your bread, your wine, your ham, you spices, your sausage, and then finally the earth from your hands after a long days work. The earth, the far away floral scent that you can’t quite identify, and then the outside flavours that bounce around your tongue all come together nicely, reminding you of back breaking work.

It’s fascinating, and I almost want to have it with this Scotch with a Ploughman’s lunch at some point. Perhaps I’ll work on some back breaking outdoor work before hand and actually get a sweat going to complete the experience. Try this if you get the chance.

87/100

Scotch review #20, Islay review #7, Whisky Network review #27

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