2006 Port Askaig, BBR Exclusive Cask #308861, 15-Year-Old, Islay, Single Malt Scotch Whisky (48.7%)
About this SPIRIT
Port Askaig is a range of Single Islay Malt whisky from the northeast coast of Islay.
Each expression within the range, from the youthful yet powerful Cask Strength to the elegant and refined 28 Year Old is bottled from a small batch marrying and showcases in particular, the enriching effect that ageing has on this most respected of single Islay malt whisky.
The whisky region of Islay (pronounced eye-la) is arguably the most important 200 or so square miles in the whisky world. On the face of it Islay just another island of the Inner Hebrides. It lies in Argyll just to the west of Jura and around 25 miles north of the Irish coast, which can be seen on a clear day.
The island's fame as far as whisky goes is due to the 8 distilleries currently in production and the vast tracts of peat that cover most of the island's surface. The whisky distilleries are: Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman (this is the newest distillery on the island which started producing spirit in 2005), Lagavulinand Laphroaig.
The 8 distilleries with whisky for sale can be divided up, depending on the amount of peat used. The `big 3' are Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig who all produce powerful smoke laden whiskies. The new malt produced by Kilchoman is also very powerful indeed.
Occupying the middle ground are Bowmore and Caol Ila. The whiskies produced at Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain are in peat terms at least, the lightest.
There were more distilleries in the past: Port Ellen closed in 1983 while the Lochindaal at Port Charlotte closed in1929. The buildings at Port Ellen are however still in use, it is here that malted barley for the island's distilleries is produced.
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This cask of Port Askaig shone out to me amongst others tasted alongside. It displays supreme balance and Islay typicity. A reassuringly smoky nose envelops notes of leaf mulch and citrus skins. The palate is full of coastal tang, lime and toasted herbs, whilst the moreish finish is replete with manifold oils – citrus, olive and engine. A good-sized glass of this with an engrossing evening’s television and a little plate of cheese, please.
Rob Whitehead, Spirits Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (November 2022)
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