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The Lost Distilleries

The lost distilleries of Scotland are almost always the most popular and highly sought after amongst whisky collectors and the cognoscenti. Their whisky has become legendary, and not just for its flavour, but for the fact it is incredibly rare and hard to find, though it was once very different...

Scotland was once home to hundreds of distilleries, and in the peak of the 19th century, there were over two hundred of them in operation! This number quickly started to dwindle, as distilleries started closing for various economic reasons.

US Prohibition killed off a number of distilleries whose main income came from export to America, and shortly after the UK was stricken by the economic depression of the 1920s and 1930s. After the Second World War around 70 distilleries closed down for good, though as the UK slowly started to build itself back up again the popularity and growth of whisky continued to increase up until the 1980s, when economic difficulties forced the industry to make cut backs. At that time, blended Scotch was the most popular style of whisky, whilst single malts only really become popular comparatively recently. The result of this was that when cut backs were made, it was done with blended whisky in mind. Smaller distilleries closed, as did those whose whisky didn’t make much of an impact when used as a blending component.

The whisky industry is back on the rise now, and increased interest in single malts has even brought about the reopening of several distilleries. With this in mind, the lost distilleries of the 20th century will always have a special place in our hearts, distilleries like Rosebank, St Magdalene, the intensely smoky Brora , Dallas Dhu , and the epic Port Ellen, amongst many, many others...

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St George Spirits
That Boutique-y Whisky Company
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Master of Malt Single Cask Whisky
Distilled in 1982 and aged for 22 years in refill sherry butts before bottling in 2004 by Gordon and MacPhail. Port Ellen has become a legendary distillery.  More info
A Connoisseur's Choice bottling from Gordon and MacPhail, a 1993 vintage from the Pittyvaich distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$81.46
Distilled at Millburn in 1978 and aged for 30 years before bottling in 2008 for Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
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This single malt was distilled in 1982 and bottled in 2003, a rare edition from the North Port distillery.  More info
$112.89
A 1972 vintage from Gordon and MacPhail, matured in refill sherry butts. The Millburn distillery is now closed, so any whisky is decidedly rare.  More info
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A rare single malt, distilled in 1975 at the now silent Glen Albyn distillery, a rare smooth, fresh whisky.  More info
$156.20
Distilled at Glen Esk in 1984 and aged for 20 years before bottling in 2004 for Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseur's Choice range.  More info
$196.98
A 1968 vintage and a very rare bottling from the Gordon and MacPhail Rare Old whisky range. The Glenlochy distillery closed several times and was finally demolished in 1986.  More info
This is the second batch of the utterly beguiling Port Ellen from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. It's a rich, smouldering, citrusy gem from what is perhaps Scotland's most legendary distillery, and...  More info
Continuing on the cat-inspired theme present in the Boutique-y Whisky Company's Clynelish (a distillery which neighbours Brora), here we see a far more terrifying-looking label with a truly ferocious...  More info
A 32 year old from the Convalmore distillery, distilled in 1975 and matured in a bourbon cask. This single malt is part of a limited release of just 202 bottles and has been bottled at 48%.  More info
$168.95
This is Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Caperdonich, bottled at 45.7% abv with a cult comic book-style label featuring the legendary pipe that supposedly ran between Caperdonich and its...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$230.95
Rare as hen's teeth, and a darn sight tastier. This 1975 St Magdalene was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
$302.15
A vintage whisky from Gordon & MacPhail's Distillery Label range, this 2012 release was distilled in 1994 at Imperial, a now closed distillery, which in fact spent more of the last century closed than...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$78.98
The Caperdonich distillery was sadly mothballed in 2002, though there is still some whisky available for fantastic bottlings such as this one from ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’.

‘That Boutique-y...  More info
This is a popular distillery with aficionados. At one point it was known as Glen Grant No.2 after its sister distillery. Legend has it that the two were connected by a pipe to transfer whisky between...  More info
$70.55
This whisky is from the long-since closed distillery of Port Ellen and despite a whole bunch of distilleries sadly closing in the early 1980s Port Ellen remains one of the most highly regarded...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
This whisky is from the Speyside distillery of Caperdonich, a distillery with a turbulent history. Caperdonich opened in 1897 under the imaginative name Glen Grant Number Two, after its sister...  More info
This Glen Albyn was distilled in 1976 and was bottled by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail. Glen Albyn was closed in 1983 and demolished three years later, needless to say this is a rare bottling.  More info
$263.23
A bottling of a 19-year-old Imperial single cask malt by Lorne Mackillop, who is descended from one of the survivors of the massacre of the Mackillop Clan at the hands of the english redcoats in 1745...  More info
A 1990 vintage Inverleven, bottled by stalwart independent bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
$95.10
A "pure malt" from Glen Mhor, this is an incredibly rare whisky bottled in the days of "proof" and measuring volume in fluid ounces! A great whisky from a now lost distillery…  More info
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A splendid Imperial 16 year old, bottled by Duncan Taylor. This is non-chillfiltered and cask stregth, a nicely structured sweetish dram.  More info
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