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This sweet, intense, enigmatic and intransigent Port Ellen is a complex tour de force of aromas and flavours. It offers a pronounced smoky flavour, easily countered with a splash of water: deeply complex and wearing its years with elegance, this expression is incredibly intense, exceptional both for a Port Ellen but also for a malt generally. Only 2,964 numbered bottles are available in the world.
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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.
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