Elixir Distillers announces name of new Islay distillery

Ahead of Fèis Ìle festival, and six months after breaking ground, co-founders of Elixir Distillers have announced that their new Islay distillery will be called Portintruan.

Portintruan takes its name from the historic farm estate where the distillery is located, just outside of Port Ellen on Islay’s south coast, near the Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg distilleries.

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

“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.”

The new distillery will set out to combine traditional production techniques with modern technology to improve process, quality, and sustainability.

“Working within what is currently possible on Islay, we want to be as green and as responsible as we can,” said distillery manager, Georgie Crawford.

“We are talking to the Islay Energy Trust, our fellow distillers on the island and suppliers to ensure we take all opportunities to be greener.

“We are using the latest technology to implement a heat loop for our water usage to ensure the maximum amount is recycled and reused with the heat recovered for other processes.

“We’re also using biodiesel for our direct-fired stills which is the cleanest fuel we can currently source, and we’re building the distillery so that it can use hydrogen power once that is available.”

The distillery name is being announced in time for the 2022 Fèis Ìle, the annual festival of whisky and music on Islay that will run from 27 May to 4 June and see 10,000 whisky-lovers visit the island.

Previously known as Speciality Drinks, founders of the Whisky Exchange Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh, renamed the independent bottling arm of their business Elixir Distillers in 2017.

Two years later, Elixir Distillers launched its first original blended rum, Black Tot Finest Caribbean, and in 2021 launched Highland Nectar Scotch Whisky Liqueur.