Port Ellen operated for over 150 years, but it wasn't until its closure that its whisky grew to become some of the most iconic.
Port Ellen distillery, located in Port Ellen on the isle of Islay, Scotland was originally established as a malt mill in 1825, and then developed as a distillery under John Ramsay from 1833 to 1892. It continued in production throughout the 1970s and was closed in 1983. When Port Ellen was closed in 1983, some of the buildings were knocked down, some were repurposed, and the stills were destroyed.
Port Ellen’s smokiness is quite different to the their neighbouring whiskies on Islay’s south coast, it has both highly maritime in nature alongside a sharp lemon element, light tar and some oiliness in the texture. Because most of the bottlings have been matured in refill casks, it is rare to find a Port Ellen with a huge amount of oak. While this accentuates the smokiness it also lends it a somewhat harsh nature.