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Found on Islay's Kildaton South Coast, Port Ellen began its tenure in 1825 as a malt mill. Long, low white buildings rise up from the coast in the town of the same name.
Port Ellen was founded in 1825, on the south side of Islay, by A.K. Mackay & Co.The Ramsay family operated the distillery from 1833 to 1920, when they sold Port Ellen to Buchana-Dewars, who formed a new company to oversee Port Ellen's affairs.
The house was mothballed following Prohibition, until reopening in 1967. A drum malting plant was erected in 1967, which continues to serve all of Islay, despite the fact that Port Ellen's stills stopped running in 1983.
Port Ellen's production was noteworthy in several ways. Their stills were heated by mechanical coal stokers before switching to steam heat. Their traditional malting floors gave way to a wildly successful drum malting operation in 1974, the only one on the West side of Scotland.
Its warehouses now provide shelter not only to the remaining Port Ellen casks, but a number of makes from Diageo's stable, including Lagavulin and Caol Ila. A fine, smoky maritime malt, Port Ellen will one day pass from the world completely, and with it one of its greatest peated Whisky's.