Port Ellen Distillery Resurrected



This evening, I am reporting on Port Ellen Distillery (on Islay) which, according to media postings has been re-opened following a long spell as a 'ghost' distillery.

Background Information

The distillery was established in 1825 by Alexander Mackay. It remained under family ownership until 1920 when sold to corporate ownership where it has remained ever since, currently residing with international drinks conglomerate, Diageo.

Due to a slowdown in the whisky market Port Ellen was mothballed in 1983 and closed permanently in 1987 when production equipment was dismantled.

In the image above, the old Port Ellen buildings can be seen in the left of centre whilst the industrial buildings to the right house the maltings which have continued in operation supplying many of the Islay distilleries with the key ingredient of malted barley.

Despite closure of the distillery there remained a store of maturing single malt which was drip-fed into the market where collectors were prepared to pay up to £875,000 for a single cask and £15,000 for a bottle of 1978 vintage.

Latest Position

Diageo has reportedly invested millions to re-start the distillery which will focus on traditional, 'smoky' single malts combined with some experimental whiskies. 

More information

For more information on Scotland’s distilleries, islands and much more please refer Visitors’ Guide to Scotland, ISBN 978-1-9161332-0-4. This book is also available via Kindle.

Here is information on the town of Port Ellen.


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