Wine & Spirits

22 Jan 2019

Johnnie Walker Ghost and Rare Port Ellen

Johnnie Walker Ghost and Rare Port Ellen

Author: Vintage Wine  /  Categories: Wine & Spirits, Spirits  /  Rate this article:

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare: Port Ellen  $400


The highly anticipated bottling from Johnnie Walker has arrived at Vintage Wine Cellar, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare: Port Ellen.  This is the second addition following the incredibly successful Ghost Brora first edition.  Ghost refers to distilleries no longer in existence.  Johnnie Walker has some barrel inventory from these ghost distilleries as well as other incredibly rare whiskeys and uses those stocks to produce a limited edition blend.  The second edition features legendary Islay distillery Port Ellen which closed in 1983.  Port Ellen single malts are highly sought after and they often sell for 4 figures or more if you can find them. Johnnie Walker Master Blender, Dr. Jim Beverage, blended ghost whiskies from Port Ellen, Caldonian and Carsebridge with five rare malts from Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol and Oban.  The resulting blend is 43.8% alcohol content and bottled in individually numbered 1L bottles. Extremely limited.  This is a one-time blend because once it is gone, it can never be replicated.


Interestingly, Port Ellen wasn’t destroyed or hasn’t completely disappeared.  It was closed or mothballed.  Due to the immense demand for Scotch whiskey, especially ones from Islay, Port Ellen is scheduled to be rebuilt and reopen by 2020.  Yet nothing can compare to whiskeys from the original Port Ellen that are now over 35 years old


While Port Ellen was from Islay, and Islay malts are known for its smoky and peaty qualities, this Ghost and Rare bottling doesn’t fit the smoky and peaty profile.  It is more balanced and fresh.  It has more salinitiy.


The result is a whisky with layers of creamy vanilla sweetness and rolling waves of waxy citrus, rich malt and tropical fruit notes - all perfectly balanced by the distinctive maritime smokiness of Port Ellen that lingers in, the long and warming finish.” ~ Johnnie Walker Notes




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