This week's review focuses on an expression from Islay which is shrouded in mystery and intrigue, although if one were to do a little digging, they would be able to find that there's more than meets the eye.
This expression is branded as Port Askaig, which is a well known area on the isle of Islay which houses one of the two ferry terminals on the island (the other being located at Port Ellen) as well as being in the vicinity of two well known distilleries.
However, if one were to hazard a guess as to the origins of the spirit within this bottle, the veil seems to lift somewhat and the provenance becomes a little clearer. There may be two distilleries within the Port Askaig area (Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila), but this expression seems to point towards the latter being the source of the spirit within.
This expression was bottled without an age statement and at a cask strength abv of 57.1% by independent bottler, Specialty Drinks Ltd, for the Port Askaig range of bottlings that they produce.
So, let's jump right into the review!
Port Askaig 100 Degrees Proof (Bottled by Specialty Drinks Ltd, 57.1% abv)
Nose: Initial entry presents coastal elements of sea salt, brine, seaweed and light peat, along with some barley sugar and a touch of iodine. With time, the peat becomes more apparent and brings with it hints of liquorice, oak, creosote and kerosene.
Palate: Initial entry presents more of the coastal elements, with the peat being at the forefront and being complemented by sea salt, seaweed, clean and sweet barley malt and barley sugar as well as cloves, menthol and iodine.
With time, hints of sage and oregano develop and complement the existing elements quite nicely, while the oakiness increases in intensity and the palate becomes more drying.
Finish: Medium to long on the finish, with oak, coastal peat and sea salt along with some barley sugar figuring to the very end.
Balance: A rather well-represented expression which showcases the typical coastal Islay style that one would typically associate with the distilleries on the north-eastern coast. While there are elements which seem to point towards the spirit being from Bunnahabhain, the overall flavour profile does seem to be more Caol Ila-esque in nature.
This expression is available for purchase by the bottle or by the dram for in-bar consumption and can also be found in the Peated Perfection flight. It is also available for purchase by the bottle for retail/takeaway purposes.
For more information, please approach our friendly staff and they will be more than happy to assist you with any enquiries that you may have.
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