Port Ellen 40-Year-Old, the oldest official single cask debuts in China
Guangzhou,18 November 2018 - The oldest official single cask of Port Ellen whisky made available to private clients has been successfully sold to a private buyer in China.
Distilled in 1978 it is an exceptionally rare 40yo whisky, having spent four decades ageing in an ex-sherry butt in a now silent distillery.
The release of this cask of Port Ellen was unveiled as part of Diageo’s Cask of Distinction program, a collection of rare and precious liquids from distilleries under Diageo that are reserved for private buyers. A worldwide acclaimed distillery now silent, this rare gem from Port Ellen offers memories of peat & smoke whisky flavors from the last century; a taste of true rarity.
Mrs. Vivi Shen, TRIWIN General manager, from a connoisseur/collector standpoint said,
“The 1978 Port Ellen is a true one-off single cask with unparalleled history. It is a rare survivor from a golden age after the Port Ellen Distillery closed in 1983. Its significance lies in the fact that it represents the definition and benchmark of peat and smoke whisky from the 1970's.
With connoisseurs and collectors all over the world wishful to be the sole holder of the 1978 Port Ellen, I am delighted to see that a Chinese collector’s enthusiasm in rare whisky has been recognized by Port Ellen Distillery.”
Diageo General Manager, Mr. Mark Edwards, along with Master Charles MacLean, Scotland’s leading whisky expert; Mr. Daniel Lam, Bonhams fine & rare whisky specialist in Asia; Mr. Lu Ching Sheng, Whisky Collection Adviser and Mrs. Vivi Shen, connoisseur representative in China, are all considered to be renowned whisky experts. Coming from Scotland, Hongkong and Taiwan to Guangzhou, each participated in a reveal gathering for the oldest official single cask of Port Ellen with a small private group of private collectors and industry influencers in Greater China.
Diageo Brand Ambassador (Greater China Area), Rin Shen, introduced Mr. Charles MacLean and Mr. Lu Ching Sheng (Whisky Collection Adviser) who led the tasting of the 40YO Port Ellen with whisky collectors and enthusiasts.
Master Charles MacLean, Scotland’s leading whisky expert, shared a connoisseur’s value of the cask, saying,
“Single cask whisky is quite different from mass product. Why is it highly sought-after by worldwide collectors and enthusiasts? It features both uniqueness and non-replicability, which offers owners exclusive drinking pleasure and yields an extremely high collection/connoisseurship value. The value of a single cask whisky is closely related to the distillery’s DNA, historical background, maturity, and single cask mastery level. As the benchmark of an iconic silent distillery, it is so precious for one who loves collecting precious liquor”
Things from the past are rising in value at auctions, due in large part to their scarcity, historic significance and mobility. This is the reason that the highly sought-after Islay single malt, Port Ellen has garnered attention before its release. Mr. Daniel Lam, Bonhams fine & rare whisky specialist, added:
“Over the past two decades, from the value-added recognition through global auction market, Port Ellen defines the origin of peat & smoke whisky, which could be cross-validated in many collection indices. If we review the significance of Port Ellen, it’s clear to be one of the hottest picks in the whisky auction market. The distillery is well-known as the definition and benchmark of peat and smoke whisky in the late 70s and a representative of iconic silent distillery. Its epoch-making influenced from the beginning of the 21st century until present day. It is branded a “silent distillery” through whisky auction market, which is able to put a spotlight on the character of these whiskies.”
The iconic and since closed distillery, Port Ellen, it has not been officially re-opened. Its halo comes from the heartfelt support for the contribution in definition of smoke & peat whisky in the last century among all whisky lovers, not the flattery.
Mr. Lu Ching Sheng, Whisky Collection Adviser, said:
“Looking back on the history of whisky flavor evolution over the past century, we clearly observe that an exquisite whisky never covers up its inimitable character of peat and smoke. Port Ellen is not only setting the benchmark of peat & smoke whisky, but is also benchmarking the next generation of distilleries.
About Port Ellen 40-Year-old
The oldest official single cask made available to a private buyer, Port Ellen 40-Year-old is part of Diageo "Cask Of Distinction" project. The true one-off single cask was carefully selected by Dr. Craig Wilson, a world-class single cask master. The strict selection procedure guarantees that each drop of this whisky has been hand-selected from the most valuable and precious cask of whisky to be found in Port Ellen Distillery reserves.
Port Ellen 40-Year-old is bottled at an ABV of 56.2%. Each bottle in this limited release is individually numbered. The masterpiece combines elements from a bespoke wooden box which is decorated with 40 pieces of precious oak. In addition, each box is equipped with a sherry oak from Port Ellen's oldest single cask, making for a cherished memory.