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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...

Rosebank 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 57.90%
Rosebank

The vatting of four bourbon barrels of Rosebank. This was distilled in 1991 and bottled at 16 years - possibly the peak age for Rosebank - by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info

Rosebank 1991 - Cask Strength (Gordon and MacPhail)

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.50%
Imperial

A beautiful cask-strength malt from the classic Speyside distillery Imperial.  More info

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Imperial 16yo 1995 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.80%
Imperial

The Imperial distillery has had a turbulent path over the past few decades. In 1989 the distillery was closed to be reopened two years later, then in 1998 it was mothballed again. Fortunately…  More info

Imperial 16yo 1995 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 49.30%
Imperial

Distilled at Imperial in 1995, this was aged for 16 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their fabulous Octave range of whiskies finished in smaller "octave" casks for added pep and zing (also…  More info

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 57.80%
Imperial

A beautiful hogshead-matured, cask-strength malt from the classic Speyside distillery Imperial. This was distilled on the 9th October 1995, it was then aged in hogsheads 50322 and 50323 before…  More info

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

From Signatory's Un-Chillfiltered range, this Imperial was distilled on the 9th October 1995 and it was aged for 16 years in hogsheads 50332 and 50333 before bottling on the 24th November 2011. A…  More info

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$48.30

Imperial 15 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

Distilled at the Imperial distillery in 1995, this was aged for 15 years in two hogsheads. Bottled in 2011, a release of 737 bottles.  More info

Imperial 15 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$43.78

Imperial 15 Year Old 1995 Casks 50320 & 50321 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

This 15 year old Imperial was distilled on the 9th October 1995 and it was aged in two hogsheads (numbers 50320 and 50321) before bottling on the 12th September 2011. A release of 703 numbered…  More info

Imperial 15 Year Old 1995 Casks 50320 & 50321 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)
$48.30

Lochside 1990 14 Year Old - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Lochside

A Douglas Laing bottling of the now closed Lochside distillery. Jim Murray scored this rare single cask release 94 points!  More info

Lochside 1990 14 Year Old - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Imperial 13 Year Old 1997 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

Distilled in 1997, this 13 year old Imperial was bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their range of non chillfiltered, non caramel coloured single malts (NC2).  More info

Imperial 13 Year Old 1997 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 12 Year Old 1997 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Caperdonich

This was distilled at the Caperdonich distillery in Speyside in the Spring of 1997 and matured for 12 years in a single refill hogshead (number 5569) before bottling by Douglas Laing for the…  More info

Caperdonich 12 Year Old 1997 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Rosebank 12 Year Old - Flora and Fauna

70cl, 43%
Rosebank

A superb triple-distilled single malt from the now silent Rosebank distillery, bottled as part of the Flora and Fauna series.  More info

Rosebank 12 Year Old - Flora and Fauna

Pittyvaich 12 Year Old - Flora and Fauna

70cl, 43%
Pittyvaich

A 12 year old bottling of Pittyvaich single malt, released as part of the Flora and Fauna series.  More info

Pittyvaich 12 Year Old - Flora and Fauna

Littlemill 12 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Littlemill

An official bottling from the now silent distillery, Littlemill. This 12 year old has a very unusual flavour.  More info

Littlemill 12 Year Old
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Inverleven 15 Year Old 1991 (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Inverleven

Distilled at the now silent Inverleven in 1991 and aged for 15 years in refill bourbon barrels before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info

Inverleven 15 Year Old 1991 (Gordon and MacPhail)
$59.54

Imperial 11 Year Old 1998 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

An 11 year old from the now mothballed Imperial distillery. This was distilled in 1998 and bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their NC2 range (non chillfiltered and non caramel coloured).  More info

Imperial 11 Year Old 1998 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)

SMWS No. 25.32 11 Year Old 1992

70cl, 54.30%
Rosebank

A stupendous single cask whisky from SMWS from a secret distillery (let's just say its R -Bank. No, that's too obvious, let's call it Rose-B). This is a berry-fruit-rich whisky from the now closed…  More info

SMWS No. 25.32 11 Year Old 1992
$241.73

Rosebank 10 Year Old 1990 (Signatory)

70cl, 43%
Rosebank

A rare single cask Rosebank, bottled in 2000 by Signatory. This is a fine, oak matured Lowland whisky, a favourite of Jim Murray, which is getting hard to find given the sad and silent state of the…  More info

Rosebank 10 Year Old 1990 (Signatory)
$133.59

Rosebank 8 Year Old

75cl, 40%
Rosebank

An ultra rare 8 year old from the closed Rosebank distillery. Whisky from Rosebank has become legendary for its incredible Lowland character. This was bottled for The Distillers Agency.  More info

Rosebank 8 Year Old
$401.32

Littlemill 8 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Littlemill

Littlemill has since been closed and demolished and will inevitably become rare in time. This is a great chance to try this classic Littlemill bottling.  More info

Littlemill 8 Year Old
$145.02

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1982 Cask 4447 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Port Ellen

A stunning 26 year old from the Port Ellen distillery - one of the most legendary distilleries in the world. This was distilled in February 1982 and aged for 26 years in sherry butt number 4447…  More info

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1982 Cask 4447 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Imperial 1996 (bottled 2015) - Gordon & MacPhail

70cl, 43%
Imperial

A Gordon & MacPhail bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the sadly closed Imperial distillery. It was distilled in 1996, 2 years before they shut their doors for the last time, and bottled in…  More info

Imperial 1996 (bottled 2015) - Gordon & MacPhail
1
$75.50

Port Ellen 1979 (bottled 2014) (Lot No. RO/14/01) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

Do you happen to like exciting things? Well, here's a treat for you then - an independent bottling of Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky. The Islay distillery sadly closed in the 1980s, but…  More info

Port Ellen 1979 (bottled 2014) (Lot No. RO/14/01) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$845.09

Glen Flagler (75cl) - 1970s

75cl, 40%
Glenflagler

Rare and collectible among whisky historians, this is a bottle of single malt Scotch whisky from the Glen Flagler distillery in the Lowlands, which operated between the 1960s and the 1980s. This…  More info

Glen Flagler (75cl) - 1970s
$290.16

Lochside 1981 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/07) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Lochside

Though the Lochside distillery is gone (it was closed in 1992 and finally demolished in 2005), you can still get a taste of their whiskies from independent bottlings - just like this one right here!…  More info

Lochside 1981 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/07) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$419.70

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