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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...

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - 3rd Release (2003 Special Release)

70cl, 57.3%
Port Ellen

Immensely rare and collectible (not to mention delicious), Port Ellen single malt is legendary amongst whisky enthusiasts. The distillery on Islay was closed in the 1980s and has remained as such…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - 3rd Release (2003 Special Release)

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 (bottled 2002) - The Whisky Shop 10th Anniversary Bottling

70cl, 57.9%
Port Ellen

24 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary Port Ellen distillery, which sadly has been closed since 1983. This Islay whisky was distilled in March 1978, matured in a single Sherry butt…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1978 (bottled 2002) - The Whisky Shop 10th Anniversary Bottling

Convalmore 24 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

70cl, 59.4%
Convalmore

A 24 year old official expression from the now silent Convalmore distillery, this bottling was distilled in 1978 and has been released at cask strength as part of a rare limited edition.  More info

Convalmore 24 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts
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Littlemill 24 Year Old 1988 (cask 32) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 52.3%
Littlemill

Littlemill has been closed and reopened more times than we can count, but it has been closed for a while now, making this single cask release a real treat.  More info

Littlemill 24 Year Old 1988 (cask 32) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Linlithgow 24 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
St. Magdalene

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 24 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Brora 24 Year Old 1977 - Rare Malts

70cl, 56.1%
Brora

A 24 year old Rare Malt, very rare as Brora closed in March of 1983. This was distilled in 1977 and released in 2001.  More info

Brora 24 Year Old 1977 - Rare Malts
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Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.8%
Port Ellen

This was distilled at the Port Ellen distillery on the 16th November 1979. It was then aged for 24 years in sherry butt #6773 before bottling at cask-strength in October 2004. This is a release of…  More info

Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1982 - Jumping Jack (Whisky Plus)

70cl, 56.1%
Port Ellen

A rather flash release selected by Jumping Jack for Whisky Plus - a 1982 vintage Port Ellen! This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information and photographs of this item…  More info

Port Ellen 23 Year Old 1982 - Jumping Jack (Whisky Plus)

Caperdonich 23 Year Old 1992 (cask 411035) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 48%
Caperdonich

Independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery, aged in a single Sherry cask for 23 years. It was distilled in April 1992 (10 years before the distillery was…  More info

Caperdonich 23 Year Old 1992 (cask 411035) - The Duncan Taylor Single

Imperial 23 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 57.9%
Imperial

A 23 year old single malt from the dearly departed distillery, Imperial. Distilled in October 1990, the whisky matured in a single sherry butt for 23 years before Hunter Laing came along and bottled…  More info

Imperial 23 Year Old 1990 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

Imperial 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 11974) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 58.4%
Imperial

The closed Imperial Distillery in the Speyside region produced this single malt Scotch whisky, which was lovingly aged for 23 years (from December 1990 to March 2014, if you're wondering). It was…  More info

Imperial 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 11974) - Mackillop's Choice

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

70cl, 56.2%
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)
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Glen Mhor 22 Year Old 1979 - Rare Malts

70cl, 61%
Glen Mhor

A very rare whisky from the now silent distillery, Glen Mhor. This was distilled in 1979 and aged for 22 years before bottling in October 2001 for the Rare Malts range. Each bottle is…  More info

Glen Mhor 22 Year Old 1979 - Rare Malts

Littlemill 22 Year Old 1992 (cask 10882) - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 53.8%
Littlemill

22 year old single malt Scotch whisky from a closed distillery? Oh go on then! This Hunter Laing Old & Rare bottling features whisky from the Littlemill distillery, which was closed in the 1990s.…  More info

Littlemill 22 Year Old 1992 (cask 10882) - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)

Littlemill 22 Year Old 1989 (cask 3120) - Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)

70cl, 55.7%
Littlemill

An independently bottled Littlemill single malt Scotch whisky, to let you remember the good old days before the distillery was closed and demolished. This whisky was distilled in March 1989 and left…  More info

Littlemill 22 Year Old 1989 (cask 3120) - Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)

Rosebank 22 Year Old 1981 - Rare Malts

70cl, 61.1%
Rosebank

Distilled in 1981 at the now silent Rosebank distillery and matured for 22 years before bottling at cask strength for Diageo's Rare Malts range.  More info

Rosebank 22 Year Old 1981 - Rare Malts
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Littlemill 22 Year Old 1990 (cask 16) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 46%
Littlemill

Though the Littlemill distillery has sadly been demolished, their legend endures in the remaining whisky they produced, like this single cask release from Berry Bros. & Rudd, distilled in 1990.  More info

Littlemill 22 Year Old 1990 (cask 16) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
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Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

70cl, 60.5%
Port Ellen

A cask strength, very rare Port Ellen. This was distilled in 1978 and matured for 22 years before bottling as part of the Rare Malts range.  More info

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

Rosebank 22 Year Old 1981 - Rare Malts (No Box)

70cl, 61.1%
Rosebank

The Rosebank distillery has been silent for decades now, but somehow their whisky still gets into the hands of fans. As Jeff Goldblum says in the classic film Jurassic Peat, "Whisky finds a way".…  More info

Rosebank 22 Year Old 1981 - Rare Malts (No Box)

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50262 & 50263) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 50.8%
Imperial

Whisky from a closed distillery, independently bottled by Signatory! This comes from the Imperial distillery, drawn from a pair of hogshead casks which were laid down in September 1995 and cracked…  More info

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50262 & 50263) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$87.65

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50246 & 50247) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.6%
Imperial

21 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Imperial distillery, drawn from a pair of hogshead casks which were laid down in September 1995 and cracked open in October 2016. It was…  More info

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50246 & 50247) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Littlemill 21 Year Old 2nd Release

70cl, 47%
Littlemill

The second release of 21 year old single malt from Littlemill, a Lowland distillery with a long history. It was founded all the way back in 1772, but it was sadly closed in the early 1990s and…  More info

Littlemill 21 Year Old 2nd Release

Littlemill 21 Year Old 1992 - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)

70cl, 55.4%
Littlemill

An independently bottled Littlemill single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1992, before the distillery closed its doors. It was bottled in 2013 by Part Des Anges for their Closed Distilleries range.  More info

Littlemill 21 Year Old 1992 - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 46222) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 54.9%
Caperdonich

A very handsome Duncan Taylor Single bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery. This was distilled in April 1992 and bottled in January 2014 at 54.9% ABV. 105…  More info

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 46222) - The Duncan Taylor Single

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1994 (cask 10769) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 57.7%
Caperdonich

A rare bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery, matured in a single refill hogshead for 21 years. This was distilled in July 1994, a while before the distillery…  More info

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1994 (cask 10769) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

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