Diageo's New Port Ellen Scotch Single Malt Had A 40 Year Slumber - The Whiskey Wash

Diageo’s New Port Ellen Scotch Single Malt Had A 40 Year Slumber

By Nino Marchetti / May 29, 2020

The storied and long dormant Port Ellen Scotch single malt whisky distillery, owned by Diageo, is in the midst of seeing a revival as plans are afoot for its eventual reopening. In the meanwhile a special series has been ongoing of higher end releases which highlight some of the remaining older stock, while at the same time telling stories of Port Ellen’s history.

The second release in the series, known as the Port Ellen Untold Stories Series, has now been released, taking the form of a 40 year old offering.

The new Port Ellen 9 Rogue Casks, according to those behind it, first herald from 1979 when, as the brand explained it, “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.”

Port Ellen 9 Rogue Casks

Port Ellen 9 Rogue Casks

Forty years later, Port Ellen master blender Dr Craig Wilson chose nine casks, four American oak hogsheads and five European oak butts, from the original stock and blended them together to “create a Port Ellen unlike anything seen from the distillery before.”

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

As it stands now plans call for just 1,380 bottles of the Port Ellen 9 Rogue Casks to be released, with each pricing around £6,500, or about $8,015 USD. Bottled at 50.9% ABV, this whisky will be made available globally, and you’ll find some official tasting notes below for your consideration.

It should be noted as well this isn’t the first 40 year old Port Ellen to come out in recent times – independent bottler Douglas Laing recently released its own 40 year old single cask offering from this distillery too.

  • 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 


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