Review: Port Askaig 110 Proof
Before you book a flight to Islay, know this: There is no distillery at Port Askaig. This whisky is rather “created from carefully selected casks from distilleries across Islay. All whiskies from Port Askaig are truly ‘small-batch’ with as few as two, and no more than 40, casks used for each bottling.” Since it’s billed as a single malt, though, each Port Askaig must be sourced from a single distillery, not multiple ones. This is the first Port Askaig release to arrive in the U.S.
Port Askaig 110° Proof is the first of this unique range of single malt whiskies to launch in the US but there will be more releases, including US exclusives, to come in the next few years. Port Askaig 110° Proof is a cask-strength whisky, bottled at 55% and matured in American oak, offering the perfect balance of smoke and sweet fruit. In order to maintain the authenticity of the Port Askaig liquid, the creators do not use chill filtering and no colouring is added.
Let’s give Port Askaig’s first U.S. landing a taste.
A very pale straw color is the first inkling of how gentle this whisky will be. The nose is classically Ardbegian — light on its feet but oily, with significant floral overtones atop gentle petrol notes. The palate is equally quiet, despite bottling at 55% abv it shows more delicate floral notes, light vanilla, and a spritz of citrus. At the same time, there’s a backbone here — peat smoke, but with a character that comes across like it’s been well-filtered and refined, like a cigar detected from across the room, one which makes one wonder, maybe I should find one of those cigars for myself…