Like a phoenix, Port Ellen Distillery will reopen its doors in fine style marked by the launching of two 44-year-old whiskies. First established in 1825, the distillery closed operations in 1983 but will resume production thanks to major investments from Diageo. The project is online for a mid-March relaunch.
Notably, the distillery has released a limited edition for the re-opening. Port Ellen Gemini consists of two bottles: Gemini Original and Gemini Remnant. There are only 274 sets available, and this is one of the oldest single malt Scotch whiskies in existence.
Port Ellen Distillery to Relaunch this March
Master blender Craig Wilson said: “Marking the return of this iconic distillery, and a new light in its future, Port Ellen Gemini is a true taste of a legend reborn – a never-before-seen release of two unique and priceless expressions of a much-revered whisky, inspired by our rarest cask.”
“Port Ellen Gemini invites whisky connoisseurs to compare and contrast a twin pair of 1978 Scotch whiskies, shared in its original form and finished expression. The finish is nothing short of historical: an extraordinary remnant cask that cradled three decades of Port Ellen spirit, now restored and revived, a worthy touch to this rare Scotch.
“It is a fitting tribute to the past and future as Port Ellen returns once again.”
Gemini Original was distilled from three European oak casks of 1978 and split into two expressions. The liquid from the 1978 casks is said to be untouched and has smooth, sweet, salty, and smoky notes.
One of the most unforgettable features of this expression is its impact on the nose. It has flavors that include ‘baked pear and sweet edible seaweed’, as well as ‘spent bonfires and soft fudge’, while on the palate it reveals ‘baked apple skins, salt, and charred ashes of bonfires’
As part of its re-seasoning process, Gemini Remnant is finished in a Port Ellen remnant cask, which may have had contact with some of the distillery’s most historic whiskies. The cask was saved when Port Ellen shuttered, so it could likely have touched some of the distillery’s most historic whiskies.
There are notes of salt and smoke in the finish, as well as dried fruit and oak. The whisky’s profile is also described as featuring ‘dark Sherry, prunes, and oak spice’ on the surface, as well as tobacco and charred wood ash underneath.