A limited-edition single malt from the closed Port Ellen distillery on Islay, released as part of the Rare Malts Selection range. The whisky was distilled in 1978 and matured for 20 years. It was bottled in October 1998 at a cask strength of 60.9%. The Rare Malts Selection is a large range of single malt bottlings from lesser-known and silent distilleries. It was created in 1995 by United Distillers (later Diageo) and ran until 2005. The whiskies in the series were all distilled in the late 1960s, 70s or early 80s and aged for at least 18 years. Because of its extensive selection of rare bottles, the range is extremely popular among collectors. The success of the Rare Malts Selection eventually led to the creation of Diageo’s annual Special Releases in 2001. The Port Ellen distillery on Islay was established in the 1820s. At first it operated solely as a malt mill but a few years later it was developed into a distillery. Port Ellen was mothballed in 1983, although its malting is still in operation to this day and supplies all other Islay distilleries. Diageo announced in 2017 that it is planning to reopen the distillery in the next few years.