Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1979 vintage Islay single malt Scotch whiskey. Single refill sherry butt expression of the lost Scottish distillery. Bottled January 2012 by Douglas Laing & Co. for the Old & Rare series.
Limited release of 139 bottles.
Opens richly spiced, carrying a fresh leather character – still surprisingly peaty for its age with an earthy, smoked grist character. The palate is initially sweetly peated and runs to a smoke, toffee and spiced character – each pushing for more attention until they harmoniously join in the long finish, now with salty liquorice – soot and a charcoal ashy quality.
Port Ellen Distillery was established by Alexander K. Mackay on the southern coast of the Isle of Islay at Port Ellen in 1825. Port Ellen was a malt whisky distillery but closed in 1983 and whilst the distillery buildings remain Port Ellen drum maltings occupy part of the site and participates in Feis Ile, the annual Islay Festival of Malt and Music. Most recent official bottling of Port Ellen single malt whisky was the Port Ellen 11thRelease. During the winter of 1823-24 James Fox tested his newly designed spirit safe at Port Ellen Distillery prior to its introduction in all Scottish licenced distilleries by 1825 in order to comply with enactment of the Excise Act of 1823. Thus Port Ellen Distillery was the first Scottish distillery to install a spirit safe and James Fox was paid £428 for his work.