Port Ellen Reborn – the reopening of Islay’s legendary “ghost” distillery

Port Ellen Reborn – the reopening of Islay’s legendary “ghost” distillery

19 Mar 2024

In a landmark moment for Diageo and for Scotch whisky, Port Ellen distillery reopened today with a bold vision to be a trailblazing light for the future of whisky distillation.

Port Ellen, which is rooted in the land and the people of the world-famous whisky island of Islay, is perhaps the most legendary of all the so-called “ghost” distilleries, a term given to a distillery that has ceased production but still has stock available. Established in 1825 by Alexander Kerr MacKay, the distillery has always represented what is special about Diageo’s Scotch whisky business – its craft, its people, its heritage, and its pioneering and innovative spirit that will forge new paths to a prosperous future.

Drawing on Port Ellen’s extraordinary heritage, the new distillery has been re-envisioned and designed from the ground up to push the boundaries of innovation, experimentation, and sustainability.

For example, Port Ellen will incorporate a signature ‘Ten Part Spirit Safe’ – one of the most innovative pieces of distilling equipment ever created - that allows the Port Ellen whisky makers unprecedented opportunity for experimentation. The ‘Ten Part Spirit Safe’ connects to the special laboratory at Port Ellen where the distillery’s resident technician will meticulously analyse and catalogue the full range of new spirit variations, eventually opening up exciting new opportunities for whisky-lovers to try unique new whiskies.

For those who wish to visit this iconic distillery on Islay, a range of experiences will be available to book from June, from a full day private immersion for connoisseurs, to shorter introductions to the distilling process at this exceptional distillery. Guests can register their interest to visit via portellen.com

Find out more about the distillery’s re-opening, and its innovative techniques