Legendary 'ghost distillery' to reopen after more than 40 years

The Port Ellen Distillery is set to reopen on the island of Islay following a £185m investment.

Legendary ‘ghost distillery’ to reopen on Islay after more than 40 years framecreates via Supplied

A legendary ‘ghost distillery’ is set to reopen on Islay more than 40 years after closing its doors.

Diageo has announced that the Port Ellen Distillery, which was originally established in 1825, is set to reopen on the island following a £185m investment.

The new distillery building features a modern design, with an unobstructed line of sight through the glass stillhouse to the coastline of Islay, across the bay to Carraig Fhada lighthouse.

Port Ellen will be carbon neutral, with every part of the distillation process optimised so that water and heat are both recycled, and all energy is produced by a renewable-biofuel boiler.

Port Ellen will be carbon neutral.framecreates via Supplied

Ali McDonald, master distiller at Port Ellen said: “It is an honour to take up this new position at the helm of an iconic distillery and build on Port Ellen’s pioneering past.

“Port Ellen holds a very special place in the hearts of passionate whisky aficionados, and to see spirit flow off these stills once again is an incredible moment for the Islay community and wider whisky world. We are deeply committed to pushing the boundaries of Scotch through experimentation.

“I’m excited to see what we can now create.”

Aimée Morrison, Port Ellen Master Blender, spoke of the future of the distillery and its whisky: “Port Ellen will be defined as a distillery that will push boundaries, with our on-site laboratory giving us the opportunity to delve into scientific research, offering us a deeper look into this Islay malt.

“We will better understand how the nuanced flavours from cask-to-cask shine in different ways; with the rolling smoke weaving its way through the heart of Port Ellen.

“Collectively we will endeavour to maintain the undeniable quality of Port Ellen, create whiskies for the future and take the amazing opportunity to learn as much as we can about the enigma of smoke.”

Visitor experiences, ranging from a full-day private ‘immersion for connoisseurs’ to shorter introductions to the production process, will be available to book from June.

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