A Port Ellen 37 Year Old distilled in 1978 and bottled in 2016. Introduced in 2001, the Diageo Special Release series of Port Ellen rejuvenated the distillery’s bottlings, until then limited to those found in the Rare Malt Selection. This annual rendezvous saw the gradual release of casks from two f…More info
A Port Ellen 37 Year Old distilled in 1978 and bottled in 2016. Introduced in 2001, the Diageo Special Release series of Port Ellen rejuvenated the distillery’s bottlings, until then limited to those found in the Rare Malt Selection. This annual rendezvous saw the gradual release of casks from two flagship vintages, 1978 and 1979 (with the exception of the 15th release, which was a 1983 vintage), with the implicit rule that the 1978 vintage would be bottled in even years (except the 13th release in 2013) and the 1979 vintage in odd years (except the 12th release in 2012). The last bottling was released in 2017. This is the 16th edition and was limited to 2,940 bottles.
Scotland, Isle of Islay. Distillery operational. Owner: Diageo
Single-handedly kept afloat by the leading players in the independent bottlers market until the early 21st century, Port Ellen owes its salvation to the growing fervour of fans of peated whiskies. Like many distilleries a victim of the 1980s recession, Port Ellen closed in May 1983, never to distil again. It was in 1998, 15 years after its closure, that its owners bottled two limited versions, one celebrating the 25th anniversary of the eponymous maltings, and the other for the Rare Malts Selection. It would then not be until the turn of the millennium that Port Ellen would be awarded a finally crafted regular bottling, focusing on the years of production 1978 and 1979.Paradoxically, the youngest versions are the hardest to find, such as the Signatory Vintage Black Ceramic 10 Year Old and 13 Year Old. Although most were bottled at 40-43%, they still offer the chance to experience the spirit's profile without the wood having too much influence. In any case, the oldest vintage still available today from a handful of collectors is a Port Ellen distilled in 1967 or 1968 (the distillery was mothballed from 1929 to 1 April 1968), aged 12 years old and produced to mark the Queen's visit to the distillery on 9 August 1980.
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