The island of Islay (pronounced eye-la) lies in the southern Inner Hebridean isles of Scotland and boasts 8 producing single malt distilleries: (Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Kilchoman) and one closed (Port Ellen). Islay is home to some of the most famous distilleries in Scotland, and while the majority produce a heavily peated and pungently smoky whisky, there are excellent un-peated styles made here too.
The distinctive smoky aroma and flavour is imparted by the drying of barley over smouldering peat fires, with this character diminishing and softening with time in the cask. Islay whiskies are connected strongly to where they are made, and a visit to the island is among one of the best whisky experiences available in the world.
The Whiskies of Islay — Port Ellen
Port Ellen 'Old & Rare' 1982 / 33 years old 58.3%
This exceptionally dark and brooding looking whisky comes from one of the most iconic of all of Scotland's long-lost distilleries, Port Ellen. Closed just one year after this was distilled, Port Ellen has become a whisky of great importance in the history of Islay, at one time being used for nothing more than fill for blended whiskies, it is now...
Port Ellen 'Signatory 30th Anniversary' 1982 / 35 years old 55.1%
Port Ellen remains one of the most talked about of Scotland's closed distilleries, falling silent in 1983 during the downturn of the whisky industry in Scotland. Since its closure, a cult-like following for its whisky has developed, and with some truly exceptional casks being bottled over the past 35 years, its reputation has soared while the re...
Port Ellen 1974 'Gordon and MacPhail' 750ml 40%