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Port Ellen 1982-2014, Mackillop's Choice, Cask Number 1511, Bottle 038/306, 56.2% abv.


Port Ellen 1982-2014, Mackillop's Choice, Cask Number 1511, Bottle 038/306, 56.2% abv.

I find bottles like these a little funny as it was distilled June 1982 and bottled March 2014, which makes it 31 years and 9 months old. Did this cask truly peak around March? Why not wait 3 more months to let it be an official 32 years and potentially command more money? Or is it because consumers would think it's mathematically 32 years old... like how the US makes prices $3.99 instead of $4.00?!?! Now I get it. But back to topic, Mackillop's Choice is a slightly controversial IB... actually it seems like all IBs are controversial. Mackillop's Choice was founded by Angus Dundee distillers, who also own Glencadam and Tomintoul, and was named after Lorne Mackillop. Lorne's claim to fame was being the youngest member of the Institute of Masters of Wine in London in 1984 and selects all the casks that go into Mackillop's Choice. The controversy, which is a little dated, was that Mackillop's Choice doesn't actually pick good casks, yet prices their offerings higher than most at that time. These conversations always brought up differences between distillers and bottlers, and how distilleries and IBs actually work. I wonder how Eric's choice would work... hopefully not all Arran and young Caol Ila, HAHAHAHAHA.

Nose: peaty, very islay like, some wood and honey, slightly smokey, slightly coastal.

Palate: honey, wood, no smoke... but I might be confused with the peat. Good body. Gets distractingly sweeter and better with each sip. Tastes like a PE to me.

Finish: medium, spice.

I know there wasn't much in terms of description, but this was quite an amazing dram, although a little overwhelming. Almost typical Port Ellen actually. Reminds me of a weak old Ardbeg/Laphroaig and Lagavulin mix, a good amount of peat, some sweetness, also some light wet old steamed lotus leaves/expired sherry/tannic. I could taste the quality as it hit so many flavor fronts, sweet and peaty. This gets better and better (and sweeter) with each sip.

Grade: A-

Whiskysaga, Thomas Øhrbom, 93/100


Image courtesy of Eric Yee.


Eric Yee

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