Port Ellen, along with Brora and to the lesser extent Rosebank, is the most mourned closed Scottish distillery.
Port Ellen was producing whisky from 1825 to 1929, resumed production in 1967 after extensive renovation, only to close for good in 1983. In time of closure it has distilling capacity of 1.7 million liters of spirit per annum and was the smallest of the three distilleries on Islay owned by DCL. In the new millennium Port Ellen earned cult status and the recent press release confirming that the distillery will be brought back to life and re-start distillation in 2021 created lots of excitement. Port Ellen 39 years old, the oldest official bottling to date, is a vatting of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks bottled at natural strength of 50.9% abv. Only 1500 bottles were produced.
Nose: complex, smoky and fruity, honeydew melon, limes, bananas, green olives, seaweed, sultanas, honey, beeswax, milk chocolate and burnt toast.
Palate: sweet, salty and smoky, fruit salad, milk chocolate with sea salt, lemons, mint, white pepper, ginger, roasted almonds and well-integrated oak.
Finish: long, with notes of peat smoke, lemons, smoked fish, dried herbs, white pepper, lemon grass and oak.