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Next Auction starts Friday 31 March. Bottle Deadline: Monday 20 March.

Port Ellen

  • Pronunciation: port ELL-in
  • Founded: 1825
  • Closed: 1983
  • Region: Islay
  • Status: Closed
  • Owner: Diageo
  • Production Capacity: N/A

Port Ellen is the lost jewel of the Islay crown. Closure in 1983 has enabled this distillery to receive a near mythical amount of love and respect. As stocks get thinner on the ground, prices get higher and higher.

Originally a malt mill built in 1825, it was later converted to a distillery in 1833. Production flowed until 1929 when it was closed until 1966. It then resumed production until its final closure in 1983.

Built in 1973 and beginning production in 1974, the Maltings at Port Ellen are still a vital part of the islands malt production. Although closed to the public for most of the year, tours are on offer during the festival and by special appointment.

For the past 17 years, Diageo have released an official bottling of Port Ellen, as part of their special release series.It is quite common to see one of these " Special Releases" at auction with prices increasing dramatically on Whisky Auctioneer in recent years.

As Islay malts are in such demand, there have been many releases of Port Ellen independently – get any Port Ellen you can afford. It is by no means finished yet, but is certainly heading that way and increasing in price dramatically.You would be extremely lucky to find a bottle on a retailers shelf for less than £300.

Perhaps the rarest official release would be the Port Ellen Feis Ile 2008. 220 bottles released for the Islay festival in 2008 at an original cost of only £99, which now achieves in the region of £4000 at auction.