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Closed distilleries

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Closed distilleries

Postby Fscott » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:01 pm

I was thinking about some famous closed distilleries the other day. What are the odds that Rosebank, Port Ellen, Coleburn, Dallas Dhu and the likes will ever open again a la Bruichladdich?
Is it true that Aberlour is closing? Is there another distillery that you would like to see make a comeback?
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby The Fachan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:48 pm

Folks,

Where did the Aberlour start, need to speak to Dennis but would be amazed if there is any truth in this.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby meataxe99 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:42 am

I would guess that Port Ellen (at the very least) will be reopened in future, once Diageo have sold the older stocks at the current exorbitant prices.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:59 am

meataxe99 wrote:I would guess that Port Ellen (at the very least) will be reopened in future, once Diageo have sold the older stocks at the current exorbitant prices.

:o
That would, to say the least, constitute a surprise of the grandest proportions.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby MARS » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:43 pm

It is unlikely that any of these open again.
It was possible for rosebank but it is very unlikely since somebody have stolen the stills.

It's looking bad dor tamdhu and caperdonich.

It's possible that brora open again one day. But chances are small.

Lissen nothing about a closing of aberlour. It is very unlikely.

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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby MacDeffe » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:47 pm

It's looking better for tamdhu than Caperdonich thou, as Caperdonich has just been demolished

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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Spirit of Islay » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:26 pm

MacDeffe wrote:It's looking better for tamdhu than Caperdonich thou, as Caperdonich has just been demolished

Steffen


That doesn't help Steffen :roll: :)
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Willie JJ » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:32 pm

Yeah Steffen beat me to it on that one. I think Port Ellen will only reopen in people's dreams, same as Brora, Rosebank, etc., etc., ... :sleep:



ABERLOUR!!?? :shock:

I'm with the Fachan. Where the hell did that come from? :?
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby meataxe99 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:38 am

Why are people surprised about Port Ellen reopening in the future?

I don't know too much about the single malt business, but my impressions are as follows:

1. In general, single malt prices are very strong at the moment.
2. The Port Ellen name is extremely strong at the moment, with prices to match.
3. Islay is very popular at the moment...and the Islay distilleries are all at or around the peak of the whisky game.
4. Consumption of single malt is increasing by the year...with large growth possibilities in Asia. Port Ellen would undoubtedly be viewed on the higher quality end of the scale...

Is it really that unlikely that Port Ellen, if reopened, would not be able to reopen and run as a strong business? Apologies for any ignorance on my behalf.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:07 pm

Not to mention that (to further elaborate on C57's points) Diageo, with both Caol Ila (largest malt distillery on the island in terms of production capacity, as well as a rising reputation for quality) and Lagavulin (a long history of excellence and a very high profile amongst malt drinkers over the decades) in its 'pocket', has little need for a third distillery on Islay. In fact, this is a prime rationale behind the corporation's decision to close down the Port Ellen Distillery in the first place.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:11 pm

Just to elaborate further; Port Ellen never had a good reputation and was not well regarded for quality, which is why it was chosen over Lagavulin for closure. The fact that PE seems to have turned into a good malt by the time it reached its twenties does not make it a sound commercial proposition.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:26 pm

To answer your points individually:
meataxe99 wrote:1. In general, single malt prices are very strong at the moment
True but its a real boom/bust industry and Diageo is the master of avoiding over-capacity. Also Diageo's main business is blends not malts.

meataxe99 wrote:2. The Port Ellen name is extremely strong at the moment, with prices to match.
Driven by age and rarity. Millions of litres of young PE would not command these prices.

meataxe99 wrote:3. Islay is very popular at the moment...and the Islay distilleries are all at or around the peak of the whisky game.
Islay has been extremely popular for the last few years, but I find a few folk talking about there being slightly less of a frenzy for peat than there has been recently. These things run in fashions.

meataxe99 wrote:4. Consumption of single malt is increasing by the year...with large growth possibilities in Asia. Port Ellen would undoubtedly be viewed on the higher quality end of the scale...
As I said above this relates to age. Young PE had a reputation for being poor and certainly the young stuff I've tried wasn't very good.

The whole PE market is driven by its increasing rarity. If it was plentiful it would be no more interesting than Bruichladdich or Bowmore and perhaps not as good as either.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:36 pm

Willie JJ wrote:Islay has been extremely popular for the last few years, but I find a few folk talking about there being slightly less of a frenzy for peat than there has been recently. These things run in fashions.

And the distilleries and inhabitants of Islay have certainly suffered more than their fair share of the boom-and-bust phenomenon down through the years.

Many of us have been privileged to taste some very fine older examples of Port Ellen. And there's no doubting that many of these whiskies exhibit a rather unique, complex flavour profile. But, as Willie has pointed out, a smattering of exceptional venerable whiskies does NOT a great distillery make.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Ganga » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:56 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
meataxe99 wrote:4. Consumption of single malt is increasing by the year...with large growth possibilities in Asia. Port Ellen would undoubtedly be viewed on the higher quality end of the scale...
As I said above this relates to age. Young PE had a reputation for being poor and certainly the young stuff I've tried wasn't very good.

I've found that the young PE's I've tried (10-16) were quite good. Where I found mediocrity has been in the 18-24 range. It should be noted that all the young PE's I've tried were from the end of PE's run. That is 1980+ and not the 70s distillates at young age.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby MARS » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:34 pm

The 1978/1998 and 1978/2000 rare malts are really good stuff!
The port ellen 1970/1987 G&M for meregali is incredibly good also.
And my best port ellen so far :
Port Ellen 22 yo 1982/2005 (61.7%, Jack Wieber, Auld Distillers, 228 bottles)

So, I have to disagree. :P
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:36 pm

Collector57 wrote:
MARS wrote:The 1978/1998 and 1978/2000 rare malts are really good stuff!
The port ellen 1970/1987 G&M for meregali is incredibly good also.
And my best port ellen so far :
Port Ellen 22 yo 1982/2005 (61.7%, Jack Wieber, Auld Distillers, 228 bottles)

So, I have to disagree. :P

And my favourite is a 1983 23yo so I agree with you MARS in a way. Though I guess a generalisation always has exceptions...
Willie, the Old Bothwells you had - what year/age were they? They were good I think you said?
I suspect they were 80s and 20s too - the one I have is 1982 25yo?

MARS the youngest bottle you mention is a 17yo so I don't think you are really disagreeing.

Nick the only Old Bothwell I have notes on was a 79/06 26yo. The others I tried were later bottlings. All good though.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Fscott » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:17 pm

Didn't mean to alarm anybody about Aberlour. I searched for an article that I had read and found two on the subject. (now I can't seem to find the links, but one was from a Scottish newspaper). They basically said that the Edrington group was closing Tamdhu and 'malting operations at Aberlour' to concentrate on Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes.

Maybe I misunderstood this to mean that they wouldn't be distilling Aberlour.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby The Fachan » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:30 pm

FScott,

It seems whoever wrote the article need to do a little more research. Aberlour is owned By Pernod Ricard(Chivas Bros.) and has been since 1975. There is no connection at all with the Edrington Group and no malting has been done at Aberlour since at least the early 70's........Hmmmm, this industry is never short of a story.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Spirit of Islay » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:25 am

I think people who believe that The original Port Ellen distillery will reopen are on another planet . Most of it is gone , the bits that remain are used to store Lagavulin , as an engineering workshop for the Maltings and as local business premises .
Even if someone opened another distillery in the same area it is highly unlikely that they would be able to use the Port Ellen name , Diageo wouldn't let them ( like Rosebank....) .
Most people on Islay will tell you that PE wasn't a very good malt , 'Blending Fodder' is the term usually used.......
As others have already stated the Young PE wasn't very good , i had a bottle of Signatory 10yo and compared to the likes of the Ardbeg 10yo (Allied not Glenmorangie, lower ABV) , Caol Ila 10yo , Laphroaig 10yo and Lagavulin 10yo it was awful ! I never tried it in it's teens but i have in it's twenties and most of it has been Mediocre next to the likes of similarly aged other Islays imo . i would say only 2 or 3 have stood out ( A couple of Sigs and the Whisky Shop 10th Anniversary bottling) .

Regarding young Islays i would say the other Port is the one to watch , Charlotte not Askaig ! This spirit has been going from Strength to strength , especially the private casks (mine ! LOL!) . The SMWS have released some cracking ones recently .
meataxe99 wrote:1. In general, single malt prices are very strong at the moment.

yup but being a luxury item now , people could stop buying at the drop of a hat and we could have more distillery closures like in the 80's and 90's if the recession continues .
meataxe99 wrote:2. The Port Ellen name is extremely strong at the moment, with prices to match.

As Willie said only cos it's closed and getting rare , could say the same about Brora , Rosebank.....
meataxe99 wrote:3. Islay is very popular at the moment...and the Islay distilleries are all at or around the peak of the whisky game.

Sometimes i wish it wasn't , especially with the pesky bottle chasers but it , again , could all change at the drop of a hat.......
meataxe99 wrote:4. Consumption of single malt is increasing by the year...with large growth possibilities in Asia. Port Ellen would undoubtedly be viewed on the higher quality end of the scale...

I think Blends tend to be drunk more in these up and coming markets ( can they afford 30+yo PE at over £200 a bottle ? wouldn't have thought so ) but it still takes malt away from us to go into blends but again the way the world recession is going for how long will it continue ?
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Ganga » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:06 am

I think the disagreement is with me. Most of the 18 to 24 range that I have had have been through the Provenance bottling line and I really haven't had any of their's that is much younger or older than that. These bottlings fit right into SOI's description of blending fodder.

My younger experiences have been with young Cadenhead and Signatory cask strength. These have been very good.

Much of the older bottlings have been closer to 30 than 25 and also at cask strength. These have typically been very good to sublime with the occasional stinker.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby meataxe99 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:03 pm

Many thanks to everyone for their comments - guess the whisky game isn't as lucrative as it appears.

Spirit of Islay wrote:I think Blends tend to be drunk more in these up and coming markets ( can they afford 30+yo PE at over £200 a bottle ? wouldn't have thought so )


Not to nitpick, but £200 is chickenfeed to the truckloads of millionaires/billionaires in Asia - witness the movement of Bordeaux and Burgundy at the Hong Kong auctions.

Here's hoping that it doesn't catch on any further than it already has.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:14 pm

meataxe99 wrote:
Not to nitpick, but £200 is chickenfeed to the truckloads of millionaires/billionaires in Asia - witness the movement of Bordeaux and Burgundy at the Hong Kong auctions.


If there were "Truckloads" of Millionaires/Billionaires in Asia buying whisky i would think there wouldn't be any of the major premium releases to buy in Europe but thankfully there isn't , so there is !
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby corbuso » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:18 pm

Fscott wrote:They basically said that the Edrington group was closing Tamdhu and 'malting operations at Aberlour' to concentrate on Macallan, Highland Park and The Glenrothes.

Maybe I misunderstood this to mean that they wouldn't be distilling Aberlour.

The confusing comes from the fact that Aberlour is the name of the village where Tamdhu is located. It does not refer to the distillery of Aberlour.
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Re: Closed distilleries

Postby Wave » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:42 pm

13 ~17 yr old Port Ellens are what started my love affair with PE. A particular 18yr old '83 Scott's Selection is an exceptional teenager. One man's trash is another man's gem.


Cheers!
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