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Closed Distilleries

Scotland's closed distilleries 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 ,> St Magdalene, the intensely smoky Brora , Dallas Dhu , and the epic Port Ellen, amongst many, many others...

Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons)

70cl, 48.6%
Ladyburn

It's incredibly rare to see a bottling of Ladyburn single malt Scotch whisky, seeing as the distillery was closed in 1975 after only being founded on the Girvan grain distillery site nine years…  More info

Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons)
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Linlithgow 24 Year Old 1975 (cask 96/3/4) - First Cask

70cl, 46%
St. Magdalene

A single malt from the long closed St. Magdaline Distillery (sometimes known as Linlithgow), which was matured in a single cask laid down in 1975. After 24 years of rest, it was bottled by First Cask.  More info

Linlithgow 24 Year Old 1975 (cask 96/3/4) - First Cask

Imperial 30 Year Old 1989 - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50.1%
Imperial

An exceptionally well-aged release from the now-closed Imperial Distillery! The distillery was sporadically mothballed throughout its history, and was finally closed in 1998, nine years after this…  More info

Imperial 30 Year Old 1989 - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)

Millburn 25 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts

70cl, 61.9%
Millburn

Distilled at Millburn in 1975 and aged for 25 years before bottling in 2001 for Diageo's Rare Malts range. These bottles were part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos…  More info

Millburn 25 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts
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Garnheath 45 Year Old 1974 (cask 13462) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46.3%
Garnheath

A gorgeous Garnheath single grain Scotch whisky, independently bottled by Douglas Laing as part of the Xtra Old Particular range. This was distilled back in February 1974 and aged in a single refill…  More info

Garnheath 45 Year Old 1974 (cask 13462) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Rosebank 20 Year Old 1979 - Rare Malts

70cl, 60.3%
Rosebank

An absolutely stellar Rosebank single malt here, distilled all the way back in 1979. Two decades of ageing treated the whisky very well, and it was eventually bottled at a generous cask strength for…  More info

Rosebank 20 Year Old 1979 - Rare Malts

Carsebridge 41 Year Old 1976 (cask 12768) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.8%
Carsebridge

41 year old single grain from the Carsebridge distillery, which has sadly sat silent for many years. This one was distilled in October 1976 and left to age in a refill hogshead until August 2018,…  More info

Carsebridge 41 Year Old  1976 (cask 12768) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Imperial 30 Year Old 1989 - North Star Spirits

70cl, 52.8%
Imperial

Lost distillery alert! This indie single malt was distilled at Imperial back in 1989. After three decades of ageing in a bourbon barrel, it was bottled in 2020, just seven years after the distillery…  More info

Imperial 30 Year Old 1989 - North Star Spirits

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1983 (cask 13101) - Xtra Old Patricular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.3%
Port Ellen

An astonishing bottling from Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular range - this is a well-sherried 35 year old single malt produced at Islay's long-closed Port Ellen distillery! It was aged in a single…  More info

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1983 (cask 13101) - Xtra Old Patricular (Douglas Laing)

Rosebank 21 Year Old 1990 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 54.6%
Rosebank

An absolute belter of a Rosebank here from Murray McDavid, distilled in 1990, three years before the distillery was closed. The single malt rested in bourbon casks for over two decades, before it was…  More info

Rosebank 21 Year Old 1990 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Imperial 28 Year Old - The Single Malts of Scotland

70cl, 40.8%
Imperial

A well-aged single malt from a lost distillery, this whisky was distilled at Imperial before it closed its doors in 1998. It then matured in five bourbon barrels for nearly three decades, and was…  More info

Imperial 28 Year Old - The Single Malts of Scotland

Imperial 23 Year Old 1995 (Thompson Bros.)

70cl, 53.1%
Imperial

This single malt was distilled at Speyside's sadly silent Imperial Distillery back in 1995, and spent over two decades in a bourbon barrel. After 23 years, Thompson Bros. independently bottled the…  More info

Imperial 23 Year Old 1995 (Thompson Bros.)

Caperdonich 36 Year Old 1982 - Private Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46.6%
Caperdonich

An impressively well-aged single malt from a lost distillery, this whisky was distilled at Caperdonich on 5 November 1982. It rested in a single refill bourbon barrel for nearly four decades, until…  More info

Caperdonich 36 Year Old 1982 - Private Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)

The Half-Century Blend - Batch 4

70cl, 45.6%
The Blended Whisky Company

The Half-Century Blend harks back to the olden days, when whisky production methods were not particularly efficient but they resulted in brilliant whisky. To make this expression, The Blended Whisky…  More info

The Half-Century Blend - Batch 4

Carsebridge 45 Year Old 1973 (Thompson Bros.)

70cl, 53.5%
Carsebridge

This colourful bottle is the work of Thompson Bros., and the liquid within was distilled at the now-closed Carsebridge back in 1973. The single grain whisky was housed in a single cask for nearly…  More info

Carsebridge 45 Year Old 1973 (Thompson Bros.)

North Port Brechin 24 Year Old 1976 (cask 3888) - First Cask

70cl, 46%
North Port

North Port single malt isn't something you see every day, but here we have a rare bottling of said whisky, which was distilled back in 1976 and bottled 24 years later by First Cask. A collectible…  More info

North Port Brechin 24 Year Old 1976 (cask 3888) - First Cask

Carsebridge 46 Year Old 1973 (Thompson Bros.)

70cl, 57.1%
Carsebridge

A sherried single grain whisky here from the now silent Carsebridge! Distilled in 1973, the whisky rested in a single sherry butt for the best part of half a century, eventually bottled up by…  More info

Carsebridge 46 Year Old 1973 (Thompson Bros.)

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.1%
Port Ellen

Distilled in 1982, this Port Ellen single malt was left in a single cask for the best part of a quarter of a decade. Douglas Laing bottled it up at 23 years old at cask strength, with the Island…  More info

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

Pittyvaich 29 Year Old (Special Release 2019)

70cl, 51.4%
Pittyvaich

A lesser-spotted Pittyvaich single malt here, bottled up for Diageo's Special Releases 2019! This expression from the long-closed distillery was aged for 29 years, enjoying a double maturation in…  More info

Pittyvaich 29 Year Old (Special Release 2019)

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1978 (cask 5339) - Signatory

70cl, 57.4%
Port Ellen

This 1978 vintage Port Ellen was distilled just five years before the distillery sadly closed. The single malt was then matured in a single cask for the following 23 years. A limited 218 bottles were…  More info

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1978 (cask 5339) - Signatory

Glen Albyn 26 Year Old 1974 (cask 1586) - First Cask

70cl, 46%
Glen Albyn

Glen Albyn's single malt is rarely seen, since the distillery has been closed for a long ol' time. Well, here's you chance to snap some up! This is a 26 year old whisky from the silent distillery,…  More info

Glen Albyn 26 Year Old 1974 (cask 1586) - First Cask

St. Magdalene 23 Year Old 1970 - Rare Malts

70cl, 58.4%
St. Magdalene

A rare malt whisky here, from Diageo's Rare Malts series - funny how that works, isn't it? This is 23 year old St. Magdalene single malt distilled back in 1970. Interestingly, this label (and snazzy…  More info

St. Magdalene 23 Year Old 1970 - Rare Malts

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1997 (cask 128022) - Distillery Reserve Collection (Chivas Brothers)

50cl, 49%
Caperdonich

A lesser-spotted cask strength Caperdonich, produced at the now-silent distillery on 11 September 1997, just five years before it was closed, and thirteen years before it was demolished. The single…  More info

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1997 (cask 128022) - Distillery Reserve Collection (Chivas Brothers)

Convalmore 16 Year Old 1981 (cask 89/604/115) - First Cask

70cl, 46%
Convalmore

An indie bottling of single malt from the closed Convalmore Distillery, matured in a single cask for 16 years after being laid down in 1981. Yet another rare bottling from the fab First Cask series.  More info

Convalmore 16 Year Old 1981 (cask 89/604/115) - First Cask

Port Ellen 18 Year Old 1976 (cask 4785) - First Cask

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

This 1976 vintage Islay whisky hails from Port Ellen, which closed in 1983 (though is now set to reopen!). It was distilled on 18 September, left in a single cask and bottled 18 years later at 48%…  More info

Port Ellen 18 Year Old 1976 (cask 4785) - First Cask

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