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Port Ellen Distillery was founded in the 1820s by A.K. Mackay, who, following bankruptcy, surrendered the ownership to John Ramsey, the Liberal MP for Stirling and chairman of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. John Ramsey was also a leading whisky making figure of his day, and he succeeded in making Port Ellen the first distillery to export its single malt to the United States. In 1925 the distillery was acquired by DCL and closed down, although it re-open after an extensive modernisation programme in 1967 under the management of Low Robertson of Edinburgh. In 1983 the distillery ceased production and despite the growing demand for Islay whisky, there has been no talk of its reopening. This is a signature Islay malt, distinguished by its profound peaty, smoke and iodine character, although it is gentler, more spicy and clean than the likes of Laphroaig.