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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 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 11847) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 41.50%
Carsebridge

Distilled in October 1965, this grain was bottled by Hunter Laing in October 2015. The outturn of the single refill hogshead in which this whisky spent half a century maturing was just 267 bottles at…  More info

Carsebridge 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 11847) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)
$596.45

Garnheath 42 Year Old 1974 (cask 11093) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.20%
Garnheath

A very rare bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the Garnheath distillery, which was sadly shut back in 1988. This was distilled in February 1974, matured in a single barrel for 42 years and…  More info

Garnheath 42 Year Old 1974 (cask 11093) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$283.84

Garnheath 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 11029) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.90%
Garnheath

Well here's something you don't see very often, a bottling of Garnheath grain whisky! Operating between 1965 and 1986 Garnheath distillery was located within the Moffat complex (where Glen Flagler…  More info

Garnheath 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 11029) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$280.97

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

70cl, 53.70%
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)
$1303.05

The Golden Age Blend

70cl, 44.30%
The Blended Whisky Company

The Golden Age Blend is an extraordinary whisky, harking back to the 'Golden Age' of distilling from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s, being made exclusively with whiskies that are at least 40 years…  More info

The Golden Age Blend
2
$425.97

The Cally 40 Year Old 1974 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 53.30%
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)
$912.94

Caledonian 39 Year Old 1976 (cask 900002) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51.90%
Caledonian

Single grain whisky from a closed distillery, matured for almost four decades in a single hogshead. This was distilled in April 1976 and set aside for 39 years until August 2015, when it was bottled…  More info

Caledonian 39 Year Old 1976 (cask 900002) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$327.85

Carsebridge 38 Year Old 1976 (cask 130950) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.80%
Carsebridge

Well aged grain whisky from the closed Carsebridge distillery, bottled by Signatory for La Maison du Whisky's Hogshead series. It spent over 38 years in a single cask between October 1976 and August…  More info

Carsebridge 38 Year Old 1976 (cask 130950) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$329.31

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

70cl, 49.40%
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)
$1241.05

Brora 37 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 50.40%
Brora

The fourteenth annual release of Brora single malt in Diageo's Special Releases is also the oldest in the series - a 37 year old 1977 vintage matured in refill American oak hogsheads. A release of…  More info

Brora 37 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2015)
2
$1579.25

Port Ellen 36 Year Old 1979 (cask 10914) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 56.60%
Port Ellen

A 36 year old Port Ellen! Need we say more? Well, it was distilled in May 1979 and bottled by Douglas Laing for their Extra Old Particular range in September 2015. 227 bottles were filled from a…  More info

Port Ellen 36 Year Old 1979 (cask 10914) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$1360.58

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 56.50%
Port Ellen

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

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$1469.74

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

70cl, 58.30%
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)
$2236.96

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

70cl, 53.90%
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)
$2921.40

Glenlochy 32 Year Old 1980 (cask 1759) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 60.10%
Glenlochy

This is a thirty-two year old single malt whisky from the Glenlochy distillery bottled by Signatory for their Cask Strength Collection. The distillery was closed in 1983 and today only the…  More info

Glenlochy 32 Year Old 1980 (cask 1759) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$849.16

Garnheath 28 Year Old 1986 (cask 22156) - The Cooper's Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 48.50%
Garnheath

A rare example of single grain Scotch whisky from the Garnheath distillery, who operated within the Moffat complex from 1965 to 1986. This Cooper's Choice single cask bottling was distilled during…  More info

Garnheath 28 Year Old 1986 (cask 22156) - The Cooper's Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)
$232.15

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.80%
Port Ellen

An independent bottling of single malt from the closed and now legendary Port Ellen distillery on Islay. It was bottled in 2006, when the Old & Rare Platinum range was still part of the Douglas Laing…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$1210.51

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old, single cask Port Ellen, need we say more? Well, just in case we'll add that it was distilled in Spring 1983 (just before the legendary distillery closed for good) and was bottled in…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
2
$730.29

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1979 - 5th Release (2005 Special Release)

70cl, 57.40%
Port Ellen

Rare single malt whisky from the sadly closed distillery of Port Ellen on Islay. This was part of Diageo's Special Releases in 2005 with 5,280 sought-after bottles produced. This bottle was part…  More info

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1979 - 5th Release (2005 Special Release)
$1825.88

Pittyvaich 25 Year Old 1989 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 49.90%
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)
$304.31

Littlemill 25 Year Old - Private Cellar Edition 2015

70cl, 50.40%
Littlemill

A rare bottling of Littlemill single malt Scotch whisky, released for their Private Cellar Edition series. Though the distillery in the Lowlands shut its doors for the last time in 1994 (and much of…  More info

Littlemill 25 Year Old - Private Cellar Edition 2015
$2404.06

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1988 (cask 57) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Littlemill

A rare bottling of Littlemill single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1988 - four years before production at the distillery in the Lowlands was stopped. This independent bottling by Berry Brothers &…  More info

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1988 (cask 57) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
$200.44

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

70cl, 51.40%
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)
$1064.12

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 - 2nd Release (2002 Special Release)

70cl, 59.40%
Port Ellen

The second bottling in Diageo's series of Port Ellens for their annual Special Releases. A rare and sought after whisky from a legendary distillery that stopped producing back in 1983. This bottle…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 - 2nd Release (2002 Special Release)
$1941.52

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1979 - 1st Release (2001 Special Release)

70cl, 56.20%
Port Ellen

Today Port Ellen is a whisky legend, thanks to a myriad of reasons in the early 1980s the distillery was closed. However, this was no judgement on its character or of it's quality, and when the…  More info

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1979 - 1st Release (2001 Special Release)
1
$3644.45

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