Port Ellen 39-year-old to launch globallyBy Melita Kiely
Closed Islay distillery Port Ellen is set to release a 39-year-old single malt – the oldest expression from the cult Scotch whisky brand to be made available globally.
The bottling marks the first release in the new Port Ellen Untold Stories Series, which will feature some of the last remaining stocks from the distillery, which closed in 1983. Future releases as part of the series will follow, designed to explore the “innovative and trailblazing background” behind Port Ellen distillery.
The whisky, titled Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe, has been matured in a mix of ex-Bourbon and ex-European Sherry refill casks.
Bottled at 50.9% abv, the whisky is said to have aromas of soft peat smoke, sultanas, melon and lime, leading to flavours of mint, smoke, white chocolate and fruit salad on the palate. The finish is described as spicy, focused and balanced.
Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe will have an RRP of £4,500 (US$5,935) per 700ml. It will be available from early April 2019.
Tom Jones, global Prestige brand ambassador, said: “This Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe, 39-year-old, is an exceptional single malt Scotch whisky from this storied distillery on Islay.
“Its ground-breaking founder skilfully harnessed the island’s alluring, peaty wilderness and unforgiving coast line to create a distillery which produced cult whiskies with unrivalled depth.
“There is the regular smoke from the local peat, but this one is softer. As this release has been selected from a small number of casks, it is very different to other Port Ellen releases.
“Authentic in character, as it came from the casks and natural in colour, this liquid will no doubt inspire connoisseurs and collectors alike to own this once in a lifetime piece of history.”
Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe is the first release from the Islay distillery since distillery owner Diageo removed the brand from its annual Special Releases series.
In October 2017, Diageo announced plans to invest £35 million to bring Port Ellen and Brora back into operation.
Port Ellen distillery is scheduled to reopen in 2021.