Port Ellen 1979 21 Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask [Feather’s Flight Review Set #14]


Another year, another 4-10 reviews up in a two month span of whiskies that no one man should ever drink.

But here I am.

I know what you’re thinking: I must be fat. And drunk all the time. Only one of those are true, and I’m not drunk right now, so fatty’s going to keep writing.

Like I said before, I passed the peat barrier, so I had to have more peat. And more peat meant more Islays. Or hunting for something else at The Feather’s Pub. No one wants to do that.

No, instead they want to have their dessert, and they, being my family, are waiting patiently for it. Who am I to delay dessert? I order an Islay. A Port Ellen, in fact.

Port Ellen 1979 21 Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask if we’re being super duper exact about it.

Port Ellens and I get along. We like one another. Granted I’m slowly but surely helping them not to exist, but that’s the fun part of being the hunter and the hunted. Like Hannibal to their Clarice, except they don’t have genitals and my psycho killers I consoled didn’t get caught.

Because if you’re going to do something, do it fucking right, dammit.

Moving on…

Port Ellen is no more, unfortunately. Save for the massive stocks that Diageo still has. Or not so massive. There was talk that more was made in 1998-2001, so who knows, they could crank more out in 2 years again and we’ll all kill and eat one another just to get a sniff.

Let’s see how this (the whisky, not cannibalizing one another) tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A in Ontario

Total Bottles: 462 bottles

Distilled: 1979 January

Bottled: 2000 December

Region: Islay

Abv: 50%

Colour: 7.5YR 8/3

Nose: Peat, cocoa, anise, currant, caramel, brown sugar

So before I had a 23 year old Ardbeg. And the peat had been subdued.

Now I’m having a 21 year old Port Ellen. Is it subdued? FUCK NO! THIS MOTHERFUCKER TURNS IT UP TO 11!

Strong peat, is what I’m saying, and I’m a sucker for a ton of peat. Big flavours on the edges at first, and then they crash in like the morbidly obese falling into a grave. All smashing about, with some earth crashing down in.

And maybe a fire.

Taste: Cashew, peanut, cream, chocolate, anise, carrot

More nuts. Big nutty flavour. Testicles. Tons of flavour. Creamy too. Get the joke yet? Have I beaten the horse to a pulp yet? This dram has nuts, is what I’m saying, and not like before where I was hinting at a book about whisky with genitalia.

Finish: Lots of anise, bubblegum, pepper, butter, umami, basil, coconut oil

I got a lot of anise. My wife didn’t. She got more peat and smoke. So YMMV. That said, holy damn is this tasty. And the umami? This is probably the best umami flavour I’ve had in a whisky in years. Nice coconut notes, really tasty…

I’m in trouble.

Conclusion: So I’ve said before that things only get over an 85 with me if they have tons of flavours or set off memories. And this did neither, however I still loved it quite a bit. Why? Because I’m a biased peat head, that’s why.

So I’m breaking my rule. Or altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it further.

Anyway, this dram deserves a high mark. Because it does each flavour so big. It does a lot of them, though not as many as a Black Arts does. It’s different, yet really, really tasty. So I’d order it again, if I wasn’t so obsessed with reviews.


Scotch review #410, Islay review #83, Whisky Network review #631


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