PORT ELLEN 1980 46%

Single Malt, Scotland / Islay 70cl Ref: 51437

Port Ellen 1980 is a traditional Islay malt matured in refill American hogshead and bottled at 46% alcohol strength.

Many of the Single Malt Whiskies in Gordon & MacPhail's Rare Old range will never be seen again. They are whiskies from another era - some are from distilleries no longer in operation, others from distilleries that no longer exist. Port Ellen is one of the three main villages on Islay and one of the two ferry terminals on the island. The distillery was expanded in the 1960s and temporarily closed in 1983.

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Sourcing actor, importer and exclusive distributor of a portfolio of international brands, La Maison du Whisky is, since 60 years a reference for whisky and spirit lovers. Thanks to our close relationships with producers and independent bottlers, we have access to limited editions and unique products we bring to market exclusively. Curious and creative, we are driven by our passion for products and our desire to constantly bring our clients the latest expressions through our own shops, our website whisky.fr and selected wine retail shops in France.


Product details

Tasting note

  • Appearance : dark gold.
  • Nose : vanilla ice cream, ripe pear, and cinnamon aromas mingle with dried tobacco and charred oak.
  • Palate : ground white pepper leads to sweet red berries, dried mango, and kiwi flavours. A rich smoky edge is present giving way to a subtle aniseed edge.
  • Overall : medium in length, drying, and with plenty of peat smoke influences.
The brand

The brand

Built in 1824 in the south of the Isle of Islay, Port Ellen was the site of numerous technological experiments that revolutionised the whisky industry in the 20th century. Closed between 1930 and 1969, it opened a malting centre on its site in 1973 tasked with supplying all the distilleries on the island with smoky malted barley. Again closed in 1983, Port Ellen lost its production licence in 1992 and, with it, all hope of ever producing whisky again. At the beginning of the millennium, the majority of its buildings were knocked down, leaving only the pagodas and warehouses. Though the end of the 90s and the beginning of the millennium were a prosperous time for single cask, cask strength versions from independent bottlers, this very iodine and smoky malt has become increasingly rare over the last five years.


This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.

The line

Created in 1999, this range is devoted to very old, very rare whiskies, some of which will never again be available (in particular those from the St Magdalene and Port Ellen distilleries). These are, of course, single malts of the highest quality, bottled in ultra-small batches, mostly at 46% ABV, but sometimes at 43% or 40% in the case of whiskies for which the ‘angel’s share’ was particularly generous.

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