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Port Ellen Distillery, which ceased production in 1983, remains one of the most grieved closed distilleries. While in the 1990s independent bottlers flooded the market with Port Ellen today their releases are extremely scarce. Here is a special one – bottled by Douglas McGibbon (subsidiary of Douglas Laing & Co.) as part of the Provenance range for the industry legend John Milroy. (The Milroy brothers, John and Wallace, led the Scotch Single Malt movement in London from the early 1960s; they owned the legendary whisky store Milroys of Soho.) The whisky comes from a single ex-sherry cask filled in winter 1982 and bottled in the summer of 2005. The Provenance label is inspired by the Scottish weather, sometimes offering four seasons within one day. Label of each bottling highlights the season of distillation as well as the season of bottling.
Here is how John Milroy describes his bottling of Port Ellen: A classic Port Ellen from a single sherry cask. Light golden color with an elegant long lingering aroma of peat and smoke, almost as satisfying as the taste to follow. Fills the palate with an exquisite coating of tarry seaweed infused with sublime smoky peat and a long nutty fruit finish. Enhanced by the addition of a little water yielding an unsurpassed elegance and an Islay to dream about. Nectar personified (JM)