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Port Ellen 40yo old: Port Ellen's 9 ROGUE CASKS


Introducing the second release in the highly collectable Port Ellen Untold Stories Series that explores the story of Port Ellen’s past ahead of the distillery’s return. Each precious drop of this exclusive 40-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is from 9 rogue casks and is one of the oldest and rarest releases ever to be made available direct from the distillery. It offers an entirely new dimension of flavour never before seen from Port Ellen. With only 1,380 bottles of this release made available to the public, it is one of the last chances to own a part of Port Ellen’s history.

The Port Ellen 40-Year-Old and the story of its captivating 9 Rogue Casks was unveiled at the first virtual edition of the famed Islay whisky festival Feis Ile. During an online whisky tasting, the future master distiller for Port Ellen Georgie Crawford shared a series of rogue stories from Port Ellen’s past, and revealed the new release for the very first time.

Port Ellen was distilled for just sixteen of the last ninety years, and not a cask more since its closure in 1983, making the original dwindling stocks finite and incredibly rare. In 1979, a small parcel of stock was identified as holding unusual flavour characteristics that stood out from the typical Port Ellen distillery character. Unsuitable for the needs of the blenders at the time, the casks were marked and set aside for further maturation and blending in the future.

Forty years on, today’s master blender Dr Craig Wilson carefully selected nine special casks from the original stock: each was identifiably Port Ellen but with its own defining character. He skilfully blended together the nine casks, four American oak hogsheads and five European oak butts, to create a Port Ellen unlike anything seen from the distillery before.

The rogue characteristics that saved the casks from blending in the 1980’s, are today celebrated at the heart of a new momentous 40-year-old single malt. Port Ellen’s signature soft peat smoke and rich sweet aromas, are met with a more refined character that is unusually layered and distinctive. The medium peated style holds a lighter character, with unusual tropical fruit flavour notes and a hint of aromatic spice and cinnamon.

This release highlights the variety of styles produced historically at Port Ellen and the skill of today’s master blender in bringing these together. Each sip offers an opportunity to experience the next chapter of Port Ellen’s Untold Story.

A donation of 20 signed bottles including the Port Ellen 40-Year-Old bottle and bottles from Islay distilleries Lagavulin and Caol Ila will be donated to the Islay Feis Ile Committee. The 20 special bottles, worth a total value of £10,000, will be used to support fundraising activities to raise money for Islay based charitable organisations and community groups.

The second release of Port Ellen Untold Stories series: The Port Ellen 40-Year-Old will be available globally through selected luxury retailers

Recommended Retail Selling Price in UK is £6,500 (including tax and duty)

Bottle size: 70cl

ABV: Cask Strength 50.9%

Tasting Notes:

  • Nose: Delicate, grassy/herbal, burnt tangerine skin, very mild smoke at cask strength, opens up a little with the addition of water, crème caramel/roasted coffee, red fruit compote, ripe peach skin

  • Palate: Much more pronounced bonfire smoke, pipe tobacco, leather, wood spice

  • Finish: Long, wispy smoke finish 

Port Ellen’s 9 Rogue Casks:

Four American Oak Hogsheads

  • CASK 1469 – green, oily, cinnamon, herbal

  • CASK 1680 – green, fruity, tropical fruit, vanilla

  • CASK 1747 – fruity, leather, tropical fruits, green

  • CASK 5176 – clementine, cinnamon, creamy

Five European Oak Butts

  • CASK 4890 – herbal, floral, green, spicy

  • CASK 4913 – cinnamon, fruity, aromatic, leather

  • CASK 4914 – herbal, cinnamon, ripe fruit

  • CASK 6806 – green, herbal, raisin, confectionery

  • CASK 6816 – menthol, medicinal, fruity


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