Whisky Focus - Port Ellen 1981 Sells At Auction For £9,375

Port Ellen 1981 Sells At Auction For £9,375

4th October 2017
Rare bottle of Port Ellen 1981 sells at auction for almost double its estimate.

It will come as no surprise to the knowledgeable whisky drinkers amongst you to hear that the value of whisky from the closed and dismantled, Islay distillery, Port Ellen continues to rise. But the sale of a bottle of Port Ellen 1981 at Bonhams whisky auction in Edinburgh, Scotland today must raise a few eyebrows amongst whisky drinkers, collectors and investors as the Port Ellen 1981 sold at auction for £9,375.

The bottle of Port Ellen 1981 was purchased by an unnamed buyer for almost double the Edinburgh auctions price estimate of £4,500-£5,000.

When the distillery closed in 1983 it had been in production for just 16 years after 35 years of closure, so there was as yet no knowledge of how well Port Ellen would age - it turned out to be some of the finest character found on the island of Islay.

The 36 year old Port Ellen 1981 whisky which was bottled at 50% ABV was auctioned independently by a private owner. The single cask, Cask No. 1297, which the bottle was drawn from, was purchased by the owner as part of Diageo’s ‘Casks of Distinction’. As part of this programme, Diageo gives selected private clients the chance to purchase single casks that have extraordinary quality and character. As each cask is entirely unique, patrons become the sole owners of some of the rarest whiskies ever to be released from Diageo’s extensive collection.

Since December 2012, prices of Port Ellen have increased by +128% - soaring from as little as £100 two decades ago to today’s £2,500 per bottle, with scarcity being the main driver of the consistently escalating prices.

How much more stock of Port Ellen have Diageo got sitting in their warehouses, only time will tell but one thing is for sure from today's auction result if you want to purchase a bottle of Port Ellen, whether it is for drinking, collecting or as an investment you should do it sooner rather than later the way prices are going.

If you fancy getting your hands on a bottle of Port Ellen before the prices are out of reach you will find a selection available from specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange

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