So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

PE5 ‘Elements of Islay’

Elements of Islay is a range by Specialty Drinks, the indie bottle line of Whisky Exchange*. Whether a result of marketing or contractual limitations, no distillery name is printed. Instead we get very blatant clues – LP, LG, BW, PE, CL, BN.

PE is of course Port Ellen, closed in 1983 like several other excellent but commercially unfeasible distilleries in the wake of the Pattinson Crisis – itself a cautionary tale in these heady days of affluent middle class spending.

No age statement here, but our powers of perception suggest that this whisky is at least 30 years old, maybe slightly more, which goes some way in justifying its considerable price tag. The rest of the way has to be borne by the actual virtues of the whisky, so now….



Nose  Nose: Whoa! Powerful stuff. Huge rubber and engine oil. Dollops of tar boiling under a billowy peat fire, then coastal. Salt crusted ropes and a rocky shore. There is no (very little?) sweetness here, cloying fruitcake has no place in this terrain. I think I felt hair grow in my palm.

Taste  Palette: Powerful as expected, and requires water. Reveals big farm smells – hay and something animal, all in a good way. Some sweetness reveals itself, dried sugared plums, and allspice. Hot with pepper.

Finish  Finish: Long and smoky, dry spice, like aniseed powder.


This is a powerful powerful whisky, not to be trifled with. Not for lazy mid afternoon drinks on the patio watching butterflies. This stuff is cathartic after a bad day, or an uncompromising brace for him with undefeatable odds to beat. Him. Yes, totally masculine in style, totally love it.

But therein lies the dichotomy. This style of whisky I love so much, is not the style of whisky I automatically reach out for most days. It requires a certain mood. Most days this midling mid thirties blogger reaches for something a little friendlier..

Recommeded for: SEALs, commandoes, Navy Divers and John Wayne.

* The observant reader may notice that previous bottles reviewed have also been for the Whisky Exchange. For the avoidance of doubt, Whiskyrific and its blogger (me) have no relationship with The Whisky Exchange, other than being a repeat customer. I just buy whisky from them that is all. I have more of their bottlings for future review too.

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This entry was posted on January 14, 2014 by in Port Ellen and tagged .
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