Isle of Islay


Recommended Books

Island Series - Islay Guide

Buy Islay Pevensy Guide from Amazon A small book, loaded with gorgeous colour pictures of this beautiful Island in the Hebrides. Has a useful Information and Places to visit Guide. Includes a map, distillery info and lots more.

Landranger Islay Map

This map is part of the Landranger (Pink) series and is designed for people who really want to get to know an area. This map makes your Islay Discovery a lot easier and is a must for every visitor of Islay.

Walking Islay

A guide to the best walking on Scotland's remote Southern Hebrides - Jura, Islay, Colonsay and Oronsay. Jura, Islay and Colonsay offer some of wildest scenery in the British Isles

Ardbeg Distillery on Islay
Warehouse Bunnahabhain on Islay

Port Ellen Maltings & Distillery

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Port Ellen MaltingsPort Ellen Distillery was founded around 1825. The distilling plant was silent from 1929 although the maltings and warehouses continued operating. Rebuilding began in spring of 1966 and completed in April 1967; it had 4 stills, initially heated by mechanical coal stoker, and later converted to steam heated coils. The distillery closed in 1983 and the bottled product has now become very collectable. The Excise Act in 1824 required the distillers to install a Spirit Safe, thereby effecting more control over the distillers. It was thought that the introduction of Spirit Safes might have a detrimental effect on the quality of spirit produced, and therefore it should be tried experimentally first, with Port Ellen chosen to carry out these trials.

Port Ellen WhiskyPort Ellen Maltings first started producing malt in 1974, supplying only United Distillers own distilleries, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, and Port Ellen. The malt is produced in drums, which can be likened to very large washing machine drum; the process is automatic. The maltings now supply the majority of Islay's Distilleries with their requirements, produced to their exact specifications. Tours of the maltings are by special appointment and during the Islay Whisky Festival, and are only advised for those who are particularly interested in the technicalities. A tour is also ill advised for anyone with a fear of heights.

Port Ellen Maltings can be visited only during the annual Islay Malt Whisky Festival or by special arrangement.


Video of Port Ellen Maltings

Related info:

  • Alfred Barnard's visit to Port Ellen Distillery in the 1880s
  • An extract from the booklet 'Port Ellen Distillery and Maltings' by John A Thomson

    Whisky Making | Lost Distilleries | Whisky History | Distilleries in 1880 | Whisky & Distilleries | Ardbeg | Bowmore | bruichladdich | Bunnahabhain | Caol Ila | Kilchoman | Lagavulin | Laphroaig | Port Charlotte | Port Ellen Maltings


  • Laphroaig Distillery
    Sponsored Links

    Lady of the Isles - Personalised Whisky Tours over the Island


    Books from Amazon

    Andrew Jefford - Peat Smoke and Spirit

    Those who discover malt whisky quickly learn that the malts made on the Isle of Islay are some of the wildest and most characterful in the malt-whisky spectrum.