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Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky launches one of the last batches of Port Ellen from 1983

26/09/2023
Port Ellen

TODAY, specialist spirits purveyor, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd, announces the release of a highly prestigious malt from its ‘Rarest Collection’ – a Port Ellen 40-year-old single malt whisky from March 16th, 1983.  Available globally, this limited release of 209 bottles comes from cask number 667, one of the last batches of Port Ellen production and mere weeks before the distillery closed its doors for the last time in May of the same year.

As worldwide demand for smoky and peated malts has surged, Port Ellen, a cult whisky among collectors, has become one of the rarest, most iconic and sought after around the globe.  Founded by Alexander Kerr Mackay in 1825 on Islay’s southern coast, Port Ellen was named after the nearby town and became an innovator in the whisky industry with great success exporting to the United States.  Impacted by Prohibition, the distillery initially fell silent for 37 years from 1930.  It was then resurrected in 1967 due to the demand for peated whisky when it expanded from two to four stills.  However, Distillers Company Limited, who owned Port Ellen from 1925, closed its doors in 1983.

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To capture the zeitgeist of today’s global phenomenon, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky delved into its impressive and extensive archives to release this first-fill sherry cask 40-year-old single malt, which is a veritable time capsule of Port Ellen’s early 1980s releases.  At 104.8 proof the liquid was matured in a European Oak ex-sherry butt, with the cask initially stored on Islay, until it was laid down to finish maturing in the vaults at Duncan Taylor’s HQ in Aberdeenshire in 2010.  Each hand-finished decanter is sequentially numbered with a signed certificate of authenticity.  The Scottish firm last released a Port Ellen back in 2013.

“When I bought the company from Abe Rosenberg’s family back in 2001, the inventory was incredible, with some amazing rare and old whiskies.” commented Chairman, Euan Shand.  “The casks of Port Ellen were ones that really stood out for me as something special and we’ve patiently waited for them to mature, bringing that rich, dark colour to the liquid.  The cask has created an evocative whisky that embraces the peat from the kilns and the brine of the sea, alongside a succulent rich, fruity base. It’s one of the finest whiskies we’ve launched this year and that’s saying something.”

Ian Logan, Senior Hospitality and Spirits Manager for Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky will launch the Port Ellen 1983 at the Whisky ‘Old & Rare’ Show in London this weekend.  For those fortunate enough to have tickets, Ian is holding a masterclass for the Port Ellen at 2.30pm on Saturday 30th September.  The company will also be displaying the Port Ellen with limited samples on stand number 305 for the duration of the show.

With a RRP of £5,700, the Port Ellen 40-year-old, will be available for purchase through several retailers including BlockBar and The Spirits Embassy.  Full details about this latest Port Ellen release can be found on the Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky website by heading to; https://therarest.duncantaylor.com/

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