Port Ellen Distillery is the rarest of
all the Islay distilleries. Alexander K. MacKay founded it
in the middle 1820s. John Ramsay, who was a leading figure
in the whisky industry, later acquired it. It was this man
(Ramsay) who first recognized the benefits of exporting Scotland's
whisky to the United States. Among his other credits were
research efforts in developing the spirit safe and his assistance
to Aeneas Coffey and Robert Stein with their experiments which
led to the invention of the Coffey, or Patent, Still which
would give rise to the production of grain whisky and ultimately
the predominance of the Scotch blended whiskies in the world
markets. The distillery was rebuilt in 1967, and doubled in
size to four stills. Sadly, the distillery ceased production
in 1983, but its modern malting facilities now serve other
Islay distilleries on Islay. The Port Ellen is still available
through independent bottlers such as Cadenhead, Signatory,
Whyte and Whyte and others.
15 year old, Cadenhead 198
the briny seashore in concert.
||Medium to full.
||Plenty of iodine
at the beginning followed with salt, peat and brine. A
classic Islay if ever there was one.
||Long and tends
to mellow with a surprising complexity near the end.