Scotland and Scotch whisky: Islay  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes


Port Ellen

Port Ellen Distillery
Port Ellen,
Isle of Islay  PA42 7AH

Propriétaire: Diageo

Année de création: 1825

Taken over by John Ramsay in 1836, Port Ellen was under his management the first distillery to export its single malt to the United States. It was also the first distillery to use a spirit safe. 
Closed from 1929 to 1966, the distillery doubled its production capacity in 1967. It used to produce a single malt which had its own charm, with seaworthy accents, peaty and spicy. A malting was built in 1973 near the distillery. This malting is tooled up with a Saladin box. It produces malt for most of the Island distilleries, and for the Jura distillery.
Port Ellen distillery is closed since 1984, and despite the growing demand for Islay whisky, there has been no talk of its reopening. The distillery does not have a licence anymore.
The destruction process is going. In 2004, one of the three pagoda roofs has been removed, probably to make room for new extension of the maltings. 

The market being what it is, Diageo said in October 2017 they want to reopen Port Ellen. This reopening is expected to take place around 2020 if building permits are issued.




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