They say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. The story of Port Ellen distillery on Islay certainly embodies that adage.
Opened in 1824, Port Ellen was managed in its early days by 21 year old John Ramsay (imagine running a distillery at 21!). A shrewd businessman, Ramsay became a partner in the steamer boat company that made supply runs between the island and the city of Glasgow. This no doubt played a part in the town of Port Ellen also becoming the defacto ferry terminal.
In 1925 the distillery was acquired by DCL, but it always played second fiddle to bigger siblings, Caol Ila and Lagavulin. Production during this period came in fits and starts, and in 1983 during a downturn in global demand for Scotch, DCL decided to pull the plug on the runt of their litter. However, while the distillery itself may be gone, stocks of Port Ellen whisky remain; and thanks to the use of refill casks to create a signature style less oaked than it's contemporaries (and one that ages extremely well), demand amongst collectors and connoisseurs continues to soar as supply dwindles.
This special release for the Royal Marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on the 29th April 2011, has been bottled by The Whisky Exchange.
Cask number: 2290
53.0% ABV / 70cl
Please note fill level.