Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky launches 1983 Port Ellen

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky launches 1983 Port Ellen

The independent bottler and retailer has launched a 40-year-old whisky from the son-to-be-reopened Islay distillery

News | 27 Sep 2023

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Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky has released a 40-year-old single malt whisky from coveted distillery Port Ellen.


The expression was distilled at Port Ellen on Islay in March 1983 – just two months before the distillery closed – and was matured in a first-fill sherry cask. The cask (no. 667) was initially stored on Islay, then moved to the vault at Duncan Taylor's Aberdeenshire headquarters in 2010.


Only 209 bottles of the single malt will be made available. Each decanter is hand finished and individually numbered with a signed certificate of authenticity. 


Founded by Alexander Kerr Mackay in 1825, the distillery on Islay's southern coast was lesser known during its lifetime but became highly sought after among collectors and connoisseurs after its closure. Diageo (formerly Distillers Company Ltd, which has owned the distillery since 1925) has announced plans to reopen Port Ellen in 2023 as part of a multi-million pound investment in its Scotch whisky estate. 


The 1983 expression is Duncan Taylor's first release from Port Ellen since 2013.


Euan Shand, chairman of Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, said: “When I bought the company from Abe Rosenberg’s family back in 2001, the inventory was incredible, with some amazing rare and old whiskies. 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 Show in London on 30 September. It will then be available to purchase through selected retailers including BlockBar and the Spirits Embassy, with a recommended price of £5,700.

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