New Islay distillery named

Elixir Distillers says Portintruan expected to start distilling early 2024

A new distillery currently being built near Port Ellen on Islay has been named Portintruan.

Elixir Distillers, the spirits blender and bottler behind the project, said Portintruan (pronounced Port-nah-truan) is named after the historic farm estate where the distillery is located and means ‘place of the stream’.

Work on the new distillery, which is expected to begin production in early 2024, began six months ago and is said to be well underway, with ground works complete and foundations about to commence, followed by the steel work.

Visitors to this year’s Fèis Ìle, which gets underway on Friday 27th May, will be able to visit the Portintruan site, where the Elixir Distillers team will be showcasing plans for the new distillery, which will have a visitors’ centre, a bar and restaurant, a tasting room bothy overlooking the sea, and a “multi-purpose educational facility” which will offer an apprenticeship programme to train the next generation of distillers. The site is also set to include 14 houses for Islay families working at the distillery.

Co-owner Sukhinder Singh said: “Elixir Distillers has always taken a flavour- led approach and this will be the Portintruan philosophy as well.

“We will be utilising a number of old-style production techniques which we believe will accentuate the depth and character of the spirit. A key part of the process will be using malt predominantly from our own floor maltings on-site, and we will be using direct-fired wash stills for the distillation. We plan to work with different phenol levels across the range, which will all have their own specific flavour profiles.”