News Flash: A major development last month in the spirits world, as Diageo announced the reopening of the historic Port Ellen Distillery, which had been shuttered for more than four decades. The Robb Report, Whisky Magazine, and The Financial Times all covered the news, regaling readers with the story of the nearly 200 million pounds spent in modernizing and resurrecting the legendary facility. Among hardcore collectors, this so-called ghost distillery (a "lost giant," in the words of Whisky Magazine) is revered for the superior quality of its long-aged whiskeys — if, that is, they could find them. That likely won't be the case going forward (and hallelujah for that!). But for now, Port Ellen remains as scarce and highly-sought-after commodity as there is in the world of drink, and, with this recent announcement, all available bottlings — like this super-rare, 35-year-old single cask single malt, fewer than 400 bottles of which were produced — have suddenly become that much more valuable.  

What Makes It Special: This single malt is one of the haystack needles in the world of collectibles, among a select roster of bottles coveted and targeted by whisky enthusiasts around the globe. If it had only rarity going for it, that would be one thing, but it also happens to be an extraordinary expression, an absolutely textbook example of the fine art of peating and a dram of uncommon maturity and sophistication.

The Story: Port Ellen opened in 1825 on the southern coast of the Isle of Islay, but, sadly, closed in 1983. Among the treasured bounties given a new home was this single malt. Distilled in 1982 and matured for 35 years in a sherry butt, it was bottled in October 2017 by Hunter Laing & Co. for its Xtra Old Particular series.

Our Tasting Notes: Start with the nose, which truly has it all: complexity, depth, and resonance, along with a vivid peatiness, a note of iodine, and a lingering whiff of sea salt. The peat carries through to the palate, where it’s joined by a big, rich wave of honey that envelops the tongue, along with smaller, gentler waves of spice and herbs. From here it’s a seamless segue into the finish, in which the peat subsides and the honey quietly but commandingly takes over.

Our Guarantee: We always buy and source directly from the distiller, so you can be confident that your single malt will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Don't hesitate to secure yours today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with spirits estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in 8-12 weeks. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CT, KS, LA, MI, NC, NY, TN, VA, & WA. This offer will expire on Monday April 8, 2024.