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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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From the closed Caperdonich distillery in Speyside comes this supreme single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled all the way back in 1972, when we first got a taste for the video-game Pong in the...  More info
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A Hunter Laing bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of the most renowned closed distilleries in Scotland - Port Ellen. Distilled at the Islay distillery in September 1978 and aged in a...  More info
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Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved...  More info
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A very well aged bottle of Caperdonich, or sample should we say! An excellent chance to try 38 year old single cask Caperdonich, this was distilled in 1970 and matured in cask number 4378 before...  More info
This was distilled at the Caperdonich distillery in Speyside in the Spring of 1997 and matured for 12 years in a single refill hogshead (number 5569) before bottling by Douglas Laing for the...  More info
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Bottled un-chill filtered, and with no caramel colouring, this is pure, unadulterated whisky. Distilled at Caperdonich on the 9th July 1994, it was aged in two hogsheads, and was bottled by Signatory...  More info
Distilled at the Imperial distillery in 1995, this was aged for 15 years in two hogsheads. Bottled in 2011, a release of 737 bottles.  More info
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An 11 year old from the now mothballed Imperial distillery. This was distilled in 1998 and bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their NC2 range (non chillfiltered and non caramel coloured).  More info
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Distilled at the now silent Glen Mhor in 1979 and bottled in July 1995 at a thunderous cask strength.  More info
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Distilled in 1997, this 13 year old Imperial was bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their range of non chillfiltered, non caramel coloured single malts (NC2).  More info
This 15 year old Imperial was distilled on the 9th October 1995 and it was aged in two hogsheads (numbers 50320 and 50321) before bottling on the 12th September 2011. A release of 703 numbered bottles...  More info
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From Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered range, this Imperial was distilled on the 9th October 1995 and it was aged for 16 years in hogsheads 50332 and 50333 before bottling on the 24th November 2011. A...  More info
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A 20cl Advance Sample from Douglas Laing. This was distilled at the Port Ellen distillery in November 1982 and aged for 25 years in sherry butt number 4673. It was bottled in September 2008.  More info
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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
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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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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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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
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