Whisky Reviews

Port Askaig 17 Year Old

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Here’s a post that will be slightly different to most others; I’m not actually going to be reviewing a whisky that I’ve tried. Instead, I’m going to share with you what I’ve found out about a very young new player on the market; Port Askaig. Never heard of it? Neither had I, until recently. What you probably will have heard of, though, is The Whisky Exchange, the massive whisky retailer. Well they’ve also got a sister company called Speciality Drinks who sell a wider range of spirits, and they are the company behind Port Askaig.

Port Askaig hit the market around April ’09, and speculations immediately began to fly around the internet as to which distillery it was from; for it was clear that they do not have their own. The folks over at Speciality Drinks kept a tight lock on it, as you’d expect, and all that stood clear at first is that Port Askaig is a single malt Islay whisky. You can only keep these things secret from the masses of curious whisky enthusiasts for so long, though, and it has now been revealed with quite some certainty that Port Askaig is distilled by Caol Ila (according to a German importer, in combination with pretty revealing similarities).

Not looking too shabby so far, then; Caol Ila are known for producing a smoky, peaty, fruity, seaweedy, salty whisky and are generally popular among connoisseurs and novice whisky drinkers alike. Port Askaig comes in three expressions: 17 year old, 25 year old and Cask Strength. Below is a summary of taste notes and opinions that I’ve found around the internet.

General taste notes (which, to a varying scale, applies to all 3 expressions – remember that these are merely a summary of others’ opinions and not my own):

Eye: Light yellow, honeyed water

Nose: Honey, citrus (orange, lemon), peat, tar, smoke, apple, pear, Spanish olive, seaweed, pencil shaving and ginger. Interestingly, there was quite a bit of variance in the scents that various tasters picked up on. Some report mainly seaweed, salt, tar, smoke and citrus; others pear, olive, tar and again citrus. I don’t know about you, but it intrigues me.

Taste: Malt, seaweed, pepper, tar, smoke, tobacco. The taste notes were more conclusive than those for the nose and further parallels were made to Caol Ila.

The general conclusion also appears to be that the 17 year old is slightly better than the 25 year old, with certain reviewers even expressing the opinion that it is, essentially, a better version of the Caol Ila 18 year old. Personally, I’m intrigued by it and may well pick a bottle up. If I do, it will probably be the medium-priced 17 year old which appears to have received the most positive reviews.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: UK & World (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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