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Port Ellen Distillery



The distillery was shut down and dismantled in 1983.

The Port Ellen Distillery was founded in 1825 by Alexander Mackay. He was soon bankrupted and a few relatives took over without much success. In 1836 the distillery passed to another relative, John Ramsay, who was already in the business and managed to do better than his predecessors in spite of his poor knowledge in distilling whisky. Port Ellen remained in the family until 1920 when the US Prohibition together with government regulations due to WW1 forced the family to sell the distillery. The new owner DCL shut down production in 1927. The distillery lay dormant until 1967 when DCL renovated it, installed two more stills and started production again to fill the needs for their blended products. They also built a large malting facility, the Port Ellen Maltings, which would supply the three DCL distilleries with malt. In 1983 the Port Ellen distillery was shut down and dismantled. Today the remaining Port Ellen stores and the malting facility are owned by Diageo.

The remaining Port Ellen whisky is in high demand partly since it is very good, but also because it will never be produced again. There are still some casks left to bottle, but the dwindling supply is likely to keep pushing the price of Port Ellen whisky to higher levels.

The malting facility is still active under the name Port Ellen Maltings and supplies the other Islay distilleries with some of their malt. This part of the former distillery is likely to survive; in an effort to conserve jobs on Islay an official document was signed in 1987 where the Islay distilleries vowed to purchase some of their malt from Port Ellen in the future. So far, they have.


A Selection of Port Ellen

Online Shops

Port Ellen 25







Port Ellen 1982 19 yo 40%


Port Ellen Cask Strength 20 yo 1978 Rare Malts 60,9%


Port Ellen 1978 23  Single Cask 43%(signatory)


Port Ellen 1978 25 yo 57,3%


Port Ellen 1979 22 yo 56,2%


Port Ellen 1978 24 yo 59,3%


Short Fact: A rich selection of Port Ellen can be found at The Whisky Exchange.


Character: Wood, peat and smoke.


* Buy Port Ellen online at Thewhiskyexchange >>


* Buy whisky online at Internet Wines & Spirits (US customers) >>


Map of Port Ellen


Show on map +local weather(Multimap) >> 


Owner: Diageo

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