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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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A 17 year old from the now-closed Imperial distillery matured in a single hogshead and bottled by Signatory at natural cask strength. 265 bottles were produced.  More info
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A rare Imperial from Signatory, a single cask whisky presented at natural cask strength. Closed Distillery Magic.  More info
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17 year old whisky from the now-closed Imperial distillery. Part of the prestigious Directors' Cut range. Distilled in October 1995 and bottled in February 2013, the outturn was just 99 bottles!  More info
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The whisky for this Signatory Un-Chillfiltered release was distilled in 1995 during the short period of time when the Imperial distillery was open in the 1990s. 759 bottles were produced.  More info
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Duncan Taylor have bottled this single malt whisky from the Imperial Distillery for their Dimensions range of cask strength whiskies.  More info
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A 17 year old Imperial distilled in May of 1995 and aged in a refill hogshead before bottling in May of 2012. This is a single cask release from Douglas Laing's Old Malt Cask range, and there are just...  More info
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A very tasty, 17 year old Imperial, distilled in 1995 and bottled for Duncan Taylor's Octave range. This was finished in smaller "octave" casks, and the result is additional spice and complexity.  More info
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This is an Un-Chillfiltered Imperial from Signatory, distilled in October 1995 and aged for 17 years in a pair of hogsheads. It was bottled in 2012...  More info
$65.00
This is a very fine, malty Imperial from the Old Malt Cask range. It was distilled in October 1995 before a 17 year maturation in a single cask (a refill hogshead). It was then bottled in November...  More info
$135.71
An 18 year old from the now silent Imperial Distillery. Part of the highly regarded Chieftain's Choice series from Ian MacLeod.  More info
An independent bottling of Imperial single malt Scotch whisky. The distillery may be demolished, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the malts they produced while they were open! This one was...  More info
$119.78
An un-chillfiltered Imperial single malt, bottled by the lovely folks at Signatory. Taken from two hogshead casks filled in September 1995 and emptied in April 2014. 742 bottles of whisky from this...  More info
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Have you been sorely missing the Imperial distillery since it closed? Well, lucky for you, independent bottlers still manage to get their hands on their whisky and release it for all to enjoy! This is...  More info
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Un-chillfiltered single malt Scotch whisky from the sadly closed distillery Imperial. The two casks used for this release were filled in September 1995 and bottled by Signatory in October 2013...  More info
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A Signatory release of 18 year old Imperial single malt whisky, drawn from two consecutive casks and bottled with no chillfiltering. Considering that the Imperial distillery has been closed since...  More info
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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
Distilled in 1991 at Speyside's Imperial distillery. Bottled in 2006 by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
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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)
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This whisky is from the moth-balled distillery of Imperial. Although the distillery is currently silent, independent bottlers such as Signatory have bottled previous stock for your delectation.  More info
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Bottled in March 2013 by Mackillop's; this 22 year old Imperial is ready to colonise your collection. Matured in bourbon cask 11972.  More info
This was distilled at Imperial on the 24th June 1982, aged in refill sherry butt number 3973 for 27 years and bottled by Signatory on the 8th April 2010. A release of 649 numbered bottles.  More info
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This was distilled in October of 1976 at the Imperial distillery in Speyside. It was aged for 35 years in a refill butt and bottled in October 2011 at higher-than-usual bottling strength. Delicious...  More info
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Distilled at the now silent Inverleven in 1991 and aged for 15 years in refill bourbon barrels before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
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A 1990 vintage Inverleven, bottled by stalwart independent bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
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A Signatory bottling from the now defunct Lowland distillery, Inverleven. This was distilled on the 14th September 1977, matured for an impressive 27 years before bottling on the 6th April 2005. A...  More info
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