Collection Port Ellen - Closed but well known Islay Scotch distillery

Although it closed in 1983, Port Ellen is still one of Islay 's best known distilleries. Relatively unknown while in operation, their reputation has blossomed since the closure and bottles of whiskey from the distillery have exploded in value, making them some of the most expensive whiskeys you can find.

Founded in 1825 on the outskirts of the town of the same name, it operated without incident until 1930 before being mothballed. Owned by Distillers Company Ltd. it was reopened in 1967 after some refurbishment and expansion to supply whiskey for the company's blends. Despite growing in size, it was still the smallest of Islay's DCL distilleries and when the downturn of the 1980's necessitated the closure of one of these distilleries, Port Ellen was the obvious choice.

Today the site is a malting house which produces much of the malt needed on Islay, but as the distillery itself has been dismantled the supply of Port Ellen whiskey is finite and the few remaining casks are hidden in warehouses across Scotland. While owner Diageo (the dwindling stock of Port Ellen whiskey is owned by Diageo) releases one bottling annually, independent bottlers are now the main source of whiskey from this lost distillery.

In May 2019, Diageo unveiled plans to revitalize the distillery and build a new distillery.