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Port Ellen distillery

Originally there were two distilleries in the Port Dundas district of Glasgow. The first was founded there in 1811 by Daniel McFarlane. Two years later the second distillery was established there by Brown, Gourlie & Co. The two distilleries merged in the 1860s and in 1877 they were taken over by the Distillers Company, now Diageo, of which it was part of the founders club. Port Dundas grain whisky was used for making Johnnie Walker, J&B

Port Ellen factsheet

Name Pronounced AKA Region Country of Origin
Port Ellen Islay Scotland
Status Active Whisky Type Website Tours Available
Reawakening 1825 - 1983 Malt Port Ellen Not Available
Manager Distiller Blender Owned by Parent Group

Port Ellen Timeline:

1824-25: Established by Alexander Ker Mackay, with the support of Walter Frederick Campbell, Laird of Islay, on the site of an old mill

1836: The distillery lease is taken by John Ramsay following bankruptsy

1869: W.P. Lowrie becomes agent of Port Ellen

1920: The wife & son of John Ramsay sell to the Port Ellen Distillery Co. Ltd. upon his death

1925: Acquired by Distillers Company Ltd.

1930: Port Ellen distillery closes

1967: Reopened, modernized extensively and licensed to Low Robertson & Co. of Edinburgh

1973: Port Ellen Maltings are being built

1983: Distillery closed

1987: Agreement signed with all the Islay distillery owners to buy malt from the Maltings to preserve local employment

2003: One of the pagodas demolished (the large and youngest one)

2017: Diageo reveals plans to reopen Port Ellen, as well as Brora in the Highlands

Can I tour Port Ellen?

No, unfortunately Port Ellen distillery is not open to the public for tours