port ellen

Rarest of the rare

port ellen


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Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd, announces the release of a highly prestigious malt from its ‘Rarest Collection’ – a Port Ellen 40-year-old single malt whisky from March 16th, 1983. Available globally, this limited release of 209 bottles comes from cask number 667, one of the last batches of Port Ellen production and mere weeks before the distillery closed its doors for the last time in May of the same year.
Fulfilment through thespiritsembassy.com

Rarest of the rare

To capture the zeitgeist of today’s global phenomenon, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky delved into its impressive and extensive archives to release this first-fill sherry cask 40-year-old single malt, which is a veritable time capsule of Port Ellen’s early 1980s releases. At 104.8 proof (52.4%abv)the liquid was matured in a European Oak ex-sherry butt, with the cask initially stored on Islay, until it was laid down to finish maturing in the vaults at Duncan Taylor’s HQ in Aberdeenshire in 2010. Each hand-finished decanter is sequentially numbered with a signed certificate of authenticity. Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd last released a Port Ellen back in 2013.

tasting notes


Old gold


A classic sherried Islay. Full of treacle toffee and leather mixed with bright fruity notes of blackberries and strawberries drenched in cream.


Dark treacle toffee and more fruits, this time more cooked than fresh. Thick and chewy texture with roasted pecan nuts to the fore.


Long and seemingly everlasting. The dark bitter chocolate notes from the sherry cask persist to the last, along with some spicy toasted oak.

Whisky Maker's Note

When nosed this cask by our team, everyone was amazed at the vibrancy and depth of the whisky. On the nose and with a small sip takes you in your mind to the sandy shore in front of the distillery, outstandingly evocative.

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History of the Distillery


As worldwide demand for smoky and peated malts has surged, Port Ellen, a cult whisky among collectors, has become one of the rarest, most iconic and sought after around the globe. Founded by Alexander Kerr Mackay in 1825 on Islay’s southern coast, Port Ellen was named after the nearby town and became an innovator in the whisky industry with great success exporting to the United States. Impacted by Prohibition, the distillery initially fell silent for 37 years from 1930. It was then resurrected in 1967 before once again closing in 1983 though the onsite maltings have continued to work producing malt for all of the Islay distilleries.

Even today as you sail into the bay at Port Ellen there is nowhere quite like it. On a calm day the sea is crystal clear, but equally in winter when the storms roll in off the Atlantic Ocean it can be a very challenging place to live. As with all distilleries built upon the shoulders of great men with passion, pride, and belief.

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