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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...

Carsebridge 52 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 40.5%
Carsebridge

A 52 year old single grain Scotch whisky from a distillery that closed back in 1983! Good it is, too. The label, meanwhile, features Tristan Stephenson and Thomas Aske (the chaps behind the Worship…  More info

Carsebridge 52 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
1
$246.05

Carsebridge 43 Year Old 1973 (cask 12653) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 54.3%
Carsebridge

A rare bottling of Carsebridge single grain Scotch whisky, distilled in May 1973 and bottled in June 2016. Whiskies from closed distilleries (like Carsebridge) are highly sought-after by enthusiasts…  More info

Carsebridge 43 Year Old 1973 (cask 12653) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)
$254.42

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 7458) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.7%
Caperdonich

A Duncan Taylor bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery, distilled in 1972 and matured in cask 7458 for a massive 41 years! Though Caperdocih shut its doors back…  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 7458) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1135.55

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 11213) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.1%
Caledonian

An independent single grain Scotch whisky from the sadly shut Caledonian distillery! This was aged in a single refill hogshead cask for 40 years, from April 1976 to June 2016, before being bottled by…  More info

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 11213) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
1
$367.98

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 23630) - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52.8%
Caledonian

A very exciting independent bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the long-closed (and now demolished) Caledonian distillery. It was distilled in March 1974 and matured in a single cask for…  More info

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 23630) - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)
$458.58

Rare Ayrshire 40 Year Old 1975 (cask 3421) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 47.1%
Ladyburn

Ooh, an indie Rare Ayrshire! These are indeed very rare, as the distillery from which the whisky came from has long been closed. This is a 40 year old rare Ayrshire single malt, put into its bourbon…  More info

Rare Ayrshire 40 Year Old 1975 (cask 3421) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$903.05

The Cally 40 Year Old 1974 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 53.3%
Caledonian

A single grain whisky in the Special Releases! The first since 2011's Port Dundas and only the second ever as far as we can remember. Caledonian grain distillery in Edinburgh closed in 1988 and is…  More info

The Cally 40 Year Old 1974 (Special Release 2015)
$795.59

Kinclaith 40 Year Old 1969 (cask 301445) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.3%
Kinclaith

Single malt whisky from Kinclaith is extremely rare and highly sought after. Built to provide malt whisky for the Long John blend, the distillery was only in operation for 18 years, between 1957 an…  More info

Kinclaith 40 Year Old 1969 (cask 301445) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
2
$2064.39

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 9 years prior.…  More info

Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons)
1
$2752.73

Brora 38 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2016)

70cl, 48.6%
Brora

An exciting Brora that promises more "smoke, ash and peat" than recent releases, this 38 year old single malt from was distilled back in 1977. Matured in American oak hogshead and refill European oak…  More info

Brora 38 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2016)
$1538.13

Banff 38 Year Old 1975 (cask 1028) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 49.4%
Banff

Duncan Taylor only use rare, well aged whisky for their Tantalus range of releases, and this Banff single malt Scotch whisky fits the bill very well indeed. The Banff distillery closed in 1983, but…  More info

Banff 38 Year Old 1975 (cask 1028) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1079.84

Port Ellen 37 Year Old 1978 - 16th Release (Special Release 2016)

70cl, 55.2%
Port Ellen

Like most of this year's Special Releases, this is a natural cask strength single malt whisky matured in refill American oak hogshead and refill European oak butts. Unlike most of this year's Special…  More info

Port Ellen 37 Year Old 1978 - 16th Release (Special Release 2016)
1
$2651.95

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3232) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 51.1%
Glenlochy

A 35 year old Glenlochy single malt, aged in a single hogshead cask (#3232) from November 1980 to December 2015. Not much of this around these days, as the distillery was closed back in 1983. 218…  More info

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3232) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$1005.13

Kinclaith 35 Year Old 1969 (cask 301446) - Rare And Very Old - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

75cl, 51.3%
Kinclaith

A smartly packaged and incredibly rare single cask whisky from Signatory. The Kinclaith distillery was closed in 1975, and its whisky is highly sought-after. This was aged for 35 years in hogshead…  More info

Kinclaith 35 Year Old 1969 (cask 301446) - Rare And Very Old - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$1475.34

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3231) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 48%
Glenlochy

Rare single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Glenlochy distillery, aged in a single hogshead cask for 35 years. It was distilled in November 1980, three years before the distillery was shut, and…  More info

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3231) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$1005.13

Glen Mhor 34 Years Old 1975 (cask 6034) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 43.7%
Glen Mhor

34 year old single malt Scotch whisky, distilled by Glen Mhor in 1975, around 8 years before the distillery was closed (and eventually demolished). This well-matured single malt Scotch whisky comes…  More info

Glen Mhor 34 Years Old 1975 (cask 6034) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1235.81

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1978 (cask 5781) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 41.2%
Inverleven

34 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Inverleven distillery, which has been closed since 1991. Luckily, we've got independent bottlers like Duncan Taylor who are more than happy to present…  More info

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1978 (cask 5781) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$967.43

Caledonian 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.3%
Caledonian

Founded in 1855 and originally called Edinburgh distillery, Caledonian (or 'The Cally' as it was known by those who worked there) was located by Haymarket station in Edinburgh. Once home the largest…  More info

Caledonian 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$161.18

Caledonian 33 Year Old 1982 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 51.5%
Caledonian

A yummy 33 year old single cask bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the now closed Caledonian distillery! Distilled in October 1982 and bottled in January 2016, it aged in cask number 1254, a…  More info

Caledonian 33 Year Old 1982 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
$226.95

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 58.3%
Port Ellen

Sherry matured single cask Port Ellen! Hunter Laing have bottled this extremely exciting 33 year old malt from this famous closed Islay distillery. Bottled from the Sherry butt in October 2015, just…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$2003.81

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)

70cl, 53.9%
Port Ellen

32 year old single malt Scotch whisky from an Islay distillery that was mothballed in 1983 and never reopened. The whisky comes from the final year of production. Matured in refill European oak butts…  More info

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)
$2545.88

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52%
Port Ellen

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

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
2
$1957.15

Littlemill 27 Year Old 1988 - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)

150cl, 56%
Littlemill

A magnum of whisky from a closed distillery! Matured in a single refill hogshead, the outturn was just 23 of these huge 1.5 litre bottles at natural cask strength. Littlemill lies in the Lowland…  More info

Littlemill 27 Year Old 1988 - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)
$1508.27

Pittyvaich 25 Year Old 1989 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 49.9%
Pittyvaich

One of a group of distilleries to feature in the 2015 Special Releases that's rarely seen, in this case because it was only open from 1974 to 1993. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads and…  More info

Pittyvaich 25 Year Old 1989 (Special Release 2015)
$265.19

Linlithgow 25 Year Old 1982 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 51.4%
St. Magdalene

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

Linlithgow 25 Year Old 1982 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)
$927.34

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