The newly opened Port Ellen stillhouse

Port Ellen Distillery reopens after more than 40 years

19 March, 2024

Diageo has announced that Port Ellen Distillery has reopened on the island of Islay more than 40 years after closing its doors.

The reopening is the final chapter in a £185 million investment from Diageo which has also seen the revival of the other famous ghost distillery, Brora.

“This is a landmark moment for Diageo and for Scotch whisky,” said Ewan Andrew, Diageo president of global supply chain & procurement, and chief sustainability officer.

“Port Ellen is rooted in the land and the people of Islay, yet it is a name that resonates around the world as a watchword for quality single malt Scotch whisky.

Port Ellen has been redesigned with innovation, experimentation and sustainability at its centre, with a pair of Experimental Stills operating alongside the Phoenix Stills, a pair of replicas of the original Port Ellen stills.

“It is an honour to take up this new position at the helm of an iconic distillery and build on Port Ellen’s pioneering past,” said Ali McDonald, master distiller at Port Ellen.

“Port Ellen holds a very special place in the hearts of passionate whisky aficionados, and to see spirit flow off these stills once again is an incredible moment for the Islay community and wider whisky world. We are deeply committed to pushing the boundaries of Scotch through experimentation. I’m excited to see what we can now create.”

To celebrate its rebirth, the distillery has released Port Ellen Gemini, twin 44-Year-Old Scotch whiskies, drawn from three 1978 European oak casks.

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