Investment Tips - Whisky - 11. April 2019

New Port Ellen Release: Older And More Rare Than Ever Before!

The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe

Since the turn of the millennium, the whisky world has every year been presented with a new release from the cult distillery Port Ellen. The hype has, like the interest in whisky, grown enormously, and it all culminates right now with the latest release from Port Ellen which is both older and rarer than ever before!

Port Ellen Port Ellen

Sent to rest as superfluous – awakened as a legend

Port Ellen is the most famous of the nine distilleries on the whisky island Islays. With a turmoiled story, Port Ellen saw the light of day as a malt mill in 1825, but started the production of whisky in 1833. The distillery were taken over by Distillers Company Ltd. in 1925, then closed in 1930 and re-emerged in 1966/1967. Here, production continued until the distillery was once again closed in 1983 due to low demand for single malt whisky at that time.

In 1997, the world's largest spirits producer, Diageo, bought what was left of Port Ellen. In addition to the name, buildings, etc., there was also an unknown number of casks with different blends of Port Ellen. Whisky formerly redundant in a whisky-tired world, but whisky later to rise as a Phoenix from the ashes – coveted and rare.

Diageo - The World's Largest Spirit Producer

If you occasionally drink spirits, you are probably familiar with one or more of Diageo's over 200 different brands sold in more than 180 countries. Total sales tops £ 12 billion a year, and the company has a market share of approx 25 % of the global spirits market and is 50 % larger than their nearest competitor.

Six giant brands; Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Smirnoff, Bailey ́s, Tanqueray and Guiness accounts for over 40 % of Diageo's turnover. All of the giant brands, apart from Guiness, are either best or second best selling in their respective category worldwide.

Diageo is also strong when it comes to Scotch, where it has a market share of over 30 % and continues to take market shares in almost all categories the company works within.

Special Releases Were Only The Beginning

Since the turn of the millennium, Diageo has released new bottlers every year from the remaining casks of vintage single malt whisky from ancient times. Under the series name Special Annual Releases, the spirit giant has kept life in large Scottish whisky brands with Port Ellen and Brora as the most well-known a strategy that combines a fantastic product and well orchestrated marketing efforts, giving these brands a cult status in the global whisky world.

In 2017, Diageo unveiled a € 40 million plan to re-open both Port Ellen and Brora and resume whisky production in the original spirit of the distillery. The re-opening of Port Ellen is currently set to 2021. By then, Diageo has spent over two decades and released 17 Special Annual Releases in their work to add even more special status to Port Ellen but this is just the beginning.

The New Port Ellen The New Port Ellen

Last Chance for Port Ellen

Port Ellen 39 YO The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safemarks the end of a 17-year era with Port Ellen in Special Release Series, but is also the start of the series "The Untold Stories", which presents some of the absolute last whiskies from the original and authentic Port Ellen. According to Diageo, The Untold Stories is designed to explore Port Ellen's innovative and groundbreaking background and this first edition is released in only 1,500 bottles. Although Port Ellen 39 YO is the first release in the new series, The Untold Stories also marks the beginning of the end and is thus the symbol of what comes closer to being the last chance of acquiring authentic whisky from the original Port Ellen.

Why Invest?

The cult status of Port Ellen and the fact that only 1,500 bottles are released, is reason enough for Port Ellen 39 YO to be a very good investment, but several arguments come in favor of investing in this new release.

For more than two decades Diageo has been working with branding Port Ellen to be one of the most recognized whisky brands when speaking of rare and premium whisky. For more than twenty years Diageo has invested huge sums of money in acquisitions, restorations and brand-building, which both testify to great confidence in the product and the careful management of Port Ellen's future. Diageo has, like the owner of Macallan; Edrington, one of the perhaps best marketing machines in the spirits industry. This marketing machine has partly been responsible for Port Ellen's cult status today and the effort has already helped to push prices upwards on the coveted whiskies.

Since the first Special Releases, the quantities of Port Ellen have fallen from more than 10,000 bottles, to below 3,000 bottles in the last seven releases. These merely 3,000 bottles must supply the global market demand.

With the recent release of the “Untold Stories”, Port Ellen moves toward the hyper limited whiskies, with only 1,500 released bottles, which from Diageo must be a sign that the stock in the original casks really begins to be scarce.

Although Port Ellen is planned to be re-opened in 2021, many years will pass before the distillery can once again present a whisky with sufficient age to be comparable to the character of the original Port Ellen. This means, in other words, that a substitutable product is first to be found far in the future, but even if the actual content of the future Port Ellen is a distillery in the original Port Ellen-spirit, for the world's whisky collectors, enthusiasts and connoisseurs, it will never be able to surpass the original and authentic from before 1983.

Total Number Of Bottles Of Each Port Ellen Special Releases:

Port Ellen Special Release 1-17 (2001-2017):

Release YearNumber of Bottles

Port Ellen The Untold Stories (2019-??):

Release YearNumber of Bottles

Older Releases Can Be Extra Coveted

On October 11, 2017, we recommended the Port Ellen 37 YO 16th Release for investment. This was of great interest among whisky-interested investors who also purchased other special releases for investment. Prices are already moving in the right direction, but tomorrow's Port Ellen releases can seriously make investment in both Port Ellen 39 YO The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe and the previous Special Release Releases lucrative. As future releases are likely to be smaller, and thus more rare, and the release prices are also likely to increase for each release, the previous bottling of Port Ellen may suddenly look like a bargain, thus seeing even more attractive. Such an interest would be

able to further push prices in all previous releases, thus making both the former Special Releases, but also the recently released Port Ellen The: Spirit Safe attractive investments.

New And Unprecedented High Price Level

The last two Port Ellen releases, respectively the 16th Release and 17th Release, are today both traded for over €2,000 and even though these whiskies put a new high bar for what Port Ellen can cost, the latest release crosses that bar, and sets a whole new level.

The Port Ellen 39 YO places itself at the top, as the most prestigious Port Ellen to date, and while a premium of 20-30% compared to previous release, would be quite predictable, here we witness more than a doubling of the price that in no way scares the buyers, all of which fight for the one of only 1,500 bottles released globally. This reflects the unique status of Port Ellen, and their 39 YO The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe, marks another new chapter in a playful tale that no end will take.

RareWine Invest's Opinion

RareWine Invest once again recommends Port Ellen for investment. Everything points at that the stocks in the original Port Ellen fades in and the whisky world's professional purchasers and collectors should fight harder and harder for the scarce releases from the cult distillery Port Ellen.

At the Same time, Diageos's well-executed marketing efforts continues to contribute to the spread of knowledge of Port Ellen around the world, which not only brings new eyes of whisky lovers to Port Ellen, but also pushes popularity among existing ones.

Although we welcome the re-opening of the legendary distillery, which we can only see as beneficial to the Port Ellen brand, regardless of how you look at it, there will always be a Port Ellen before and after the re-opening! This release belongs to the most exclusive period, namely the pre-time.

Invest in Port Ellen 39 YO The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe before it is sold out and market forces starts to work up the price.

Price per bottle: € 4.600

Port Ellen 39 YO The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe Port Ellen 39 YO The Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe

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