Whether or not you accept in the supernatural, it is a absolute actuality that ghosts abide in Scotland—specifically in the anatomy of long-shuttered structures accepted as “ghost distilleries” that date from whisky-making canicule of the past. Although continued dormant, abounding of these distilleries still authority casks of crumbling spirits, which, back apparent and bottled, can command ample prices from collectors.
One of the best coveted of these bogeyman distilleries is Port Ellen, amid on the wave-battered bend of Islay’s Kilnaughton Bay. The island of Islay is abstruse enough; it’s generally buried in fog, aching by wind and rain, and home to abundant legends. But there is annihilation abstruse about Port Ellen, which was abandoned in 1983. Now endemic by spirits-industry behemothic Diageo, Port Ellen’s anniversary “Special Releases” of distinct malts are agilely snatched up by whisky aficionados. As an example, in 2017, a limited-edition of 1934 Port Ellen was priced at $3,500 per bottle.
Not about as costly, but in its own way aloof as rare, Johnnie Walker Blue Label ($225) is an ultra-premium account of the aboriginal 19th-century Johnnie Walker Blend. Skillfully developed by Dr. Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker’s adept blender, Johnnie Walker Blue is composed of distinct malts that are anniversary age-old a minimum of 20 years. With his latest offering, Beveridge acute the “ghostly” bogeyman of Blue Label by bringing in whiskies from Port Ellen and two added long-dormant distilleries.
“I’m consistently absorbed by how whiskies from a baby cardinal of iconic, bankrupt distilleries accept a unique, consummate appearance that accommodate article actual appropriate to Johnnie Walker Blue Label,” Beveridge said, “and we’re always exploring these flavors to ability new adventures in scotch.”
And thus, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Bogeyman and Attenuate Port Ellen ($350) has been conjured up. This is the additional copy in a alternation of appropriate releases created by Beveridge and his aggregation of blenders, application eight adopted whiskies from Scotland, including three irreplaceable “ghost whiskies” and bristles appropriately attenuate single-malt expressions from the all-inclusive Johnnie Walker Blue Label reserves.
At the affection of this additional copy lies the cautiously peated whisky from Port Ellen. Two added bogeyman whiskies, from Caledonian and Carsebridge distilleries, accord with layers of ery boilerplate sweetness, while distinct malts from Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol, and Oban distilleries accompany in rolling after-effects of citrus, malt, and close fruit—all counterbalanced by the amphibian black of Port Ellen. Back compared to Johnnie Walker Blue Label, the Bogeyman and Attenuate Port Ellen adaptation is hardly sweeter yet added vibrant, with blooming apples and a adumbration of heather abiding with an apparent Islay black in the finish.
Interestingly, acknowledgment to the surging acceptance of Scotch whisky, the Port Ellen distillery is slated to be reopened soon–or, rather, congenital anew—and distilling whisky by 2020. Still, there is annihilation that can analyze with the nuances of a distinct malt that is over three decades old and which can be begin in Johnnie Walker Blue Label Bogeyman and Attenuate Port Ellen. To be sure, this is a apparitional whisky that should be fabricated to actualize . . . in a snifter.
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