Interested in what your current favorite Port Ellen's are. I have only tried 4, so am in no way an expert.
92 Port Ellen 13yo 1982 (43%, Hart Brothers)
89 Port Ellen 19yo 1982/2001 (62.5%, McGibbons Provenance)
81 Port Ellen 15yo 1977 (40%, G & M, screw top)
95 Port Ellen 16yo Dist. 1980, Cask 89/5891/20 (59.3%,Signatory)
It is interesting how disparate views are of Port Ellens. To some, they are very complex, to others, they are not. A function of what exprssions we have tasted?
I don't know, but the 13 year old Hart brothers was very complex, and the G and M was not. In my tasting notes, I wrote " Very dark amber color, which is curious as it says on the bottle that it was matured in oak, which usually means not sherry. Is this artificially colored? Perhaps some sherry on the nose. Let us see. No, very closed, not much sherry sweetness here. A tad spirity. Let's taste. A blast of pepper. And then, more pepper. After about ten minutes a touch of sweetness arrives. Not a very complex malt, but an enjoyable older expression distilled in the 70s"
About the Hart brothers I wrote "Just love this one. A classic young Islay, pepper and peat on the nose and mouth. A tad spirity at first nose, but than it gives way to this wonderfully clean white pepper taste, and this pervasive sweetness that overlays everything. This is just marvelous stuff. Not a very good description, but this is the kind of malt that I could drink every day. It is both easy and complex (to me, Jill found it off putting), I can imagine drinking this in the high summer heat (105 today in Omaha, late July 2006), or on a cold night, when you need something a bit more intense. I just have to get a bottle or two of this one for down the road."
Not sure if these are helpful to this conversation, but I wanted to reopen it.