Situated on the North Eastern side of the island of Islay and home to one of the island’s ferry terminals is Port Askaig. And though not a Laphroaig, nor a Caol Ila or an Ardbeg in the sense that they don’t malt or distill their own spirits, this independent bottler takes advantage of their relationships with other distilleries to choose from casks and barrels to create each of their expressions to match against the desired flavour profile.
Very much an Islay, coming in at cask strength, is the Port Askaig 100 Proof. Bottled at a 100 and NO not at 50 % ABV but at a more relishing 57.1% (UK’s way of measuring proof), this potent portion is non chill filtered with not even an ounce of caramel colouring. The expression bears no age statement and is made from vatting spirits that have been previously matured in first fill and refill american hogshead barrels.There isn’t any clear evidence of the malts being leveraged but the several forums seems to indicate it to be Caol Ila, owing to its proximity to the distillery though none are officially from the distillery…well ho hum onto the next part – tuple tasting!
ABV : 57.1 %
Eye : Pale staw
Nose : Soft vanilla cake infused with malty yet peaty nuances with a splash of brine. Heavy charred cantaloupe with traces of dried figs and slices of nectarine. Sundried tomatoes and dried hay make an appearance with bits of white pepper briefly hovering around the nose.
Taste : Sweet vanilla and white marshmallows, sandwiched in between salty, earthy mushrooms with wet woody notes. Sweet and fruits tones lay intertwined giving off plums, red grapes, with a sprinkle of nutmeg and some peppery spice.
Finish : Peaty with cured meat, hints of caramel and a mild peppery spice.
The 100 Proof is a lovely peated dram with the relatively high abv not lending the whisky any burn. Smooth, rich and quite wholesome, there’s a lot of breadth to this expression – sweet, salt, savoury with a pinch of spice. I love how the peat has influenced the whisky giving birth to a host of flavours that tingle both the nose and the palate.
At AUD $140 it might seem expensive, but considering it to be bottled at cask strength offers great value for money that is delightfully lip smacking too. Be it neat or with a dash of water, this whisky will be a pleasant sipper you won’t regret!