Whisky Review: Port Askaig 33 Year Old - The Whiskey Wash

Whisky Review: Port Askaig 33 Year Old

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by ImpEx Beverages. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

Port Askaig, an independent whisky label, has sourced its current 33-year-old Scotch from Islay’s largest distillery. Do a little digging and you find that the largest distillery on Islay is Caol Ila. Producing about 115 bottles, the Port Askaig 33 Year Old comes from a single ex-bourbon cask.

While this new release isn’t the oldest from Port Askaig, it is a limited gem in the whisky world where no age statement is becoming a norm. Making this even more of a hard to find bottle, importer ImpEx Beverages has only released the Port Askaig 33 Year Old in the United States. Even though each Port Askaig expression varies based on which distillery they source from, the aim is to represent the taste of Islay. 

Islay single malt whisky is full of robust flavors, ranging from smoky peat to plentiful fruit. Since the Port Askaig 33 Year Old is sourced from Caol Ila, one can expect smoke, brine, possibly lemon with a bit of an oily mouthfeel. Let’s see how it tastes…

Port Askaig 33 Year Old

Port Askaig 33 Year Old (image via Impex Beverages)

Tasting Notes: Port Askaig 33 Year Old

Vital Stats: 50.3% ABV; sourced Islay single malt whisky aged in an ex-bourbon cask for 33 years; 700mL ~$850.

Appearance: 18k gold.

Nose: Smoky apple hits upfront as fresh garden mint follows. There is a mix up sweet and savory in this dram. Plum and vanilla bean waft through along with wildflower. At the end of the nose, there is a sense of apple wood smoked jerky.

Palate: It’s very bright at the forefront. Spicy with a mild sweetness. Leather rounds out the whisky, but there is another flavor that bites back and not because of the ABV…sweaty sock??? However, I also detect a hint of salt that makes the whole thing remind me of salted black licorice. Tobacco and leather linger on the tongue for the finish, while the afterglow is very warming.   

The Takeaway

Summary

The Port Askaig 33 Year Old is a savory single malt whisky. It's like a meal in a dram. I would love to bring this whisky with me on a hike to enjoy while viewing the scenery after reaching the top. If you can find it, and can afford a bottle for that matter, it is worthy to add to your collection.

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