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Closed over 30 years ago and due to be reopened in 2021, since 2001 whiskies from the distillery’s stocks were used in small batch releases by owner Diageo but contributions from Brora (another closed distillery due to be reopened) and Port Ellen were stopped last year.

Instead Diageo has launched a new series dubbed ‘Untold Stories’ of which the 39 year-old Port Ellen is the first edition.

Just 1,500 bottles have been produced and will be available from selected luxury retailers around the world with an RRP of £4,500 a bottle from this April.

Georgie Crawford, master distiller at Port Ellen said: “Setting a rare precedent for exceptional whisky since the beginning in 1825, this release is a perfect exploration of how early innovation at the distillery played a role in shaping the whisky industry as a whole. There’s an ethereal quality to Port Ellen and to the distillery itself.

“It is not easy to grasp what makes it so unique, but the people definitely matter. John Ramsay was an early innovator in the whisky industry, and not many people know how important Port Ellen was in the early days of the whisky industry. Through this release we hope to give more insight into why it is so special a liquid, not just for its flavour, but for its history.”

Tom Jones, global prestige brand ambassador commented: “This Port Ellen: Untold Stories The Spirit Safe, 39-Year-Old, is an exceptional Single Malt Scotch whisky from this storied distillery on Islay. Its ground-breaking founder skilfully harnessed the islands alluring, peaty wilderness and unforgiving coast line to create a distillery which produced cult whiskies with unrivalled depth. There is the regular smoke from the local peat, but this one is softer.

“As this release has been selected from a small number of casks, it is very different to other Port Ellen releases. Authentic in character, as it came from the casks and natural in colour, this liquid will no doubt inspire connoisseurs and collectors alike to own this once in a lifetime piece of history

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