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Port Ellen Special Releases
27 March 2018

We are experiencing a turning point in the history of Scotch. Over the last few years we have seen that exceptional whisky is poised to outpace even the most highly sought after categories in terms pure, insatiable demand. This meteoric rise is fuelled by rare and special bottlings, often from historic “mothballed” distilleries such as Port Ellen; a distillery very much at the sharp end of this whisky revolution. Moreover, the news that Port Ellen has been bestowed with a new lease of life, has seemingly spurred collectors even further to buy up the especially rare stocks of the old, original releases before the new spirit hits the market twenty to thirty years from now. These special releases, heirlooms of a bygone era, are true one-offs and will forever stand as milestones in the history of Scotch whisky.

Thirty five years ago the stills at Port Ellen fell silent and the distillery closed its doors. In fact, this was the second time it had closed, after a mere sixteen years in production following a long dormant period. With very few mature casks to speak of, and none from its first incarnation, its owners had inadvertently decided to stop producing one of the most ethereal and heavenly Islay malts ever made. Albeit one needing the years (that they didn’t have) to properly mature and express itself. Well, quality will always out, and over the years these maturing casks have become some of the most revered and highly sought after in the Scotch whisky industry. Since then, Port Ellen has not produced a single drop of single malt scotch whisky. However, over the past sixteen years a handful of the few remaining casks resting in the Scottish Highlands have been specially selected for tiny bottling runs, sating the market’s thirst for this incomparable whisky. In the years that it is launched, the Port Ellen bottling forms the Crown Jewel of the Special Releases line-up and, unsurprisingly, sells out fast. Indeed, the Port Ellen Special Releases have become so sought after that they routinely top auction lots and garner the attention of serious whisky collectors worldwide.

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