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St. Magdalene

The St Magdalene distillery was established at some point during the eighteenth century. The exact year is unknown, though it is known that Sebastian Henderson was the founder. The first date attached to the whisky distillery was 1797 - the year that Adam Dawson of Bonnytoun became the distiller. The site originally held the twelfth century hospital, St Magdalene, and later the convent Lazar House.

The St Magdalene distillery sits in eastern Linlithgow in West Lothian. During the seventeenth century the area was a nucleus for local malting and milling. The area is rich in natural resources; there are many pure water sources as well as the barley-rich Lothians. It was in 1912 that then owner A & J Damson Ltd went into liquidation and subsequently Distillers Company Limited acquired the whisky distillery. Not long after this, in 1914, Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd (SMD) was formed. SMD was born of a merger between Distillers Company Limited as well as John Walker & Sons and three other Lowland distillery companies.

After the Second World War, the Scotch whisky industry experienced the same boom and bust that the UK has been suffering of late. After rationing was abolished, sales of whisky greatly increased and the industry was fervent in meeting demands and exploiting the new market. As such, many companies and distilleries were expanded, though much of this was based on borrowed money. Unsurprisingly, the bubble burst.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s there was a significant slump in the market and, in 1983, the stills of St Magdalene ran dry. Still there are bottlings available, though they are becoming increasingly rare. There has been an official release from the Rare Malts range as well as a handful of independent offerings under the names St Magdalene and sometimes Linlithgow.

St Magdalene Whisky Distillery

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About St Magdalene Whisky Distillery

Distillery Founded


Distillery Owner


Distillery Status


Distillery Address

Linlithgow, West Lothian


Sebastian Henderson founds the distillery.


Adam Dawson, proprietor of the distillery Bonnytoun in Linlithgow, buys the distillery.


A. & J. Dawson is formed and the distillery is expanded.


A. & J. Dawson goes into liquidation


St. Magdalene is one of the five founders of Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD). The others are Clydesdale, Glenkinchie, Rosebank and Grange,


Extensive repair work takes place.


Floor maltings is closed.


The distillery closes.


St. Magdalene 1970 (23 years) is released as a Rare Malt.


St. Magdalene 1979 (19 years) is released as a Rare Malt.

Reproduced from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009 with the kind permission of Mr Ingvar Ronde

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A cask strength bottling of 30 year old whisky, bottled as Linlithgow, but distilled in 1973 at the St Magdalene distillery, a superb, well-aged Lowland single malt.  More info
Distilled at St Magdalene in the Lowlands in September 1982, and aged for 26 years in refill butt number 4712 before bottling by Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range in October 2008. A release of...  More info
A cask strength release from Murray McDavid's Mission range. This was distilled at the St Magdalene distillery (sometimes known as Linlithgow) in 1982, it was then aged in bourbon casks before a...  More info
Distilled at the now silent St Magdalene distillery in 1975 and aged for thirty years in refill sherry hogsheads before bottling in 2005 by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info
24 year old Linlithgow bottled by Douglas Laing under their 'Old Malt Cask' label. Products in this range are bottled at an abv of 50%. Taken from Refill Hogshead 3560, and part of an outturn of only...  More info
Linlithgow is distilled at the St Magdalene distillery in the Lowlands. This was distilled on the 5th October 1982 and matured for 26 years in wine treated butt number 2200 before bottling on the 3rd...  More info
Distilled on the 5th October 1982 at St Magdalene in the Lowlands, this was aged for 28 years in wine treated butt number 2202, before bottling by Signatory on the 15th June 2011. A release of 351...  More info
This was distilled at the St Magdalene distillery on the 5th October 1982, and it was aged for 28 years in cask 2206 before bottling for Mackillop's Choice in April of 2011. Each bottle is...  More info
Rare as hen's teeth, and a darn sight tastier. This 1975 St Magdalene was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.  More info
You don't see official bottlings of St. Magdalene single malt Scotch whisky much these days, as the distillery was closed down all the way back in 1983. This rare whisky was distilled in 1979 and...  More info
An independently bottled Linlithgow single malt Scotch whisky from the long closed St. Magdalene distillery, matured in a refill Sherry butt. It was distilled in October 1982, a year before the...  More info
This is Lot No. RO/15/05, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in 2015. St Magdalene is a closed distillery, shutting its doors in 1983 so not long after this whisky was distilled.  More info

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