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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...

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

70cl, 48.9%
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)

Caledonian 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 11836) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 50.2%
Caledonian

Very, very rare single grain Scotch whisky here from the Caledonian distillery, presented as part of The Sovereign range by Hunter Laing. The Caledonian distillery stood in Edinburgh since 1855,…  More info

Caledonian 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 11836) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 6740) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 48%
Caperdonich

From the closed Caperdonich distillery in Speyside comes this supreme single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled all the way back in 1972, when we first got a taste for the video-game Pong in the…  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 6740) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
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Garnheath 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 313235) - Celebration Of The Cask (Càrn Mòr)

70cl, 50.8%
Garnheath

An independent bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the seldom-heard-from Garnheath distillery, which operated within the Moffat complex in the Lowlands from 1965 to 1986. This whisky was…  More info

Garnheath 41 Year Old 1974 (cask 313235) - Celebration Of The Cask (Càrn Mòr)

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3245 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 41.8%
Caperdonich

This was distilled at the Caperdonich distillery in October of 1969, and it was aged in cask 3245 for 41 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their Rarest of the Rare collection in May of 2011.…  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3245 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3254 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 40.3%
Caperdonich

Distilled in October 1969 at the Caperdonich distillery, aged for 41 years in single cask 3254 and bottled for the Rarest of the Rare series in March 2011. A release of 176 bottles.  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3254 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

Banff 40 Year Old 1975 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 40.6%
Banff

An independent bottling of rare single malt Scotch whisky from the long-closed Banff distillery, aged in a refill hogshead cask for 40 years, from November 1975 to July 2016. 122 bottles were…  More info

Banff 40 Year Old 1975 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$885.44

The Golden Age Blend

70cl, 44.3%
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
3
$369.83

Glenury Royal 40 Year Old 1970

70cl, 59.4%
Glenury

This is a late addition to the Diageo Special Releases 2011 having been released in 2012. The Glenury Royal distillery was closed in 1985 and was later demolished. There have been very few recent…  More info

Glenury Royal 40 Year Old 1970
$685.58

Garnheath 40 Year Old 1969 - The Clan Denny (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 47.9%
Garnheath

A well aged grain whisky from the Garnheath distillery (a pretty much unknown Grain distillery which operated within the Moffat complex in the Lowlands). This was aged in cask HH 5538 - a refill…  More info

Garnheath 40 Year Old 1969 - The Clan Denny (Douglas Laing)
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Caperdonich 1969 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Caperdonich

A second fill hogshead matured Caperdonich, distilled in 1969 and aged for 40 years before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail for the Connoisseurs Choice range.  More info

Caperdonich 1969 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)
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Caperdonich 40 Year Old 1968 - Peerless (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52%
Caperdonich

Aged for a whopping 40 years, this Caperdonich is an incredible whisky from Duncan Taylor's Peerless range. Each whisky in the range is aged for at least 40 years in the vaults of the distilleries…  More info

Caperdonich 40 Year Old 1968 - Peerless (Duncan Taylor)

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

70cl, 51.9%
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)
$284.65

Caperdonich 39 Year Old - Lonach (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 42.2%
Caperdonich

A 39 year old Caperdonich (a now closed distillery) from Duncan Taylor's Lonach range, made up by blending under strength and over strength whiskies from single distilleries.  More info

Caperdonich 39 Year Old - Lonach (Duncan Taylor)

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

70cl, 55.8%
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)
$285.92

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1972 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.6%
Caperdonich

This Caperdonich was distilled in November 1972 and aged in cask 7440 for 38 years before bottling in May 2011. A release of 181 bottles from Duncan Taylor's Rarest of the Rare series.  More info

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1972 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 43.5%
Caperdonich

Just look at how handsome this whisky looks! Look closer and gaze with awe and wonderment at the solid wood, polished presentation case. This was distilled at Caperdonich in the 1st May 1970 and…  More info

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
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Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 (Adelphi) 10cl

10cl, 47.1%
Caperdonich

A very well aged bottle of Caperdonich, or sample should we say! An excellent chance to try 38 year old single cask Caperdonich, this was distilled in 1970 and matured in cask number 4378 before…  More info

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 (Adelphi) 10cl

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1972 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 51.8%
Caperdonich

Distilled in October 1978 and aged in cask 6738 before bottling for Duncan Taylor's Rare Auld range in October 2010 at cask strength. A release of 152 bottles.  More info

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1972 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 (Adelphi)

70cl, 57.1%
Caperdonich

This was distilled at Caperdonich in 1970. The distilled was mothballed in 2002, so its whisky is becoming rather rare. This was aged in cask 4378 before bottling in 2008 by Adelphi as a release of…  More info

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 (Adelphi)

Brora 37 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 50.4%
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
$1371.13

Inverleven 37 Year Old 1973 - Deoch an Doras (Chivas Brothers)

70cl, 49%
Inverleven

From the Chivas Brothers Deoch an Doras collection comes a cask strength Inverleven single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1973 and bottled in 2011. Located at the Dumbarton distiller, Inverleven…  More info

Inverleven 37 Year Old 1973 - Deoch an Doras (Chivas Brothers)
$300.59

Rare Ayrshire 37 Year Old 1975 (cask 3424) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.5%
Ladyburn

A rare bottling from the closed distillery of Ladyburn in Ayrshire, aged for 37 years in a single bourbon barrel. An outturn of 183 natural cask strength bottles from Signatory.  More info

Rare Ayrshire 37 Year Old 1975 (cask 3424) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Ben Wyvis 37 Year Old 1965

70cl, 44%
Ben Wyvis

An extremely rare bottling from the long since closed Ben Wyvis distillery, this 37 year old is single malt from a very limited release of just 200 bottles.  More info

Ben Wyvis 37 Year Old 1965
$1178.36

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 6733 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 47.7%
Caperdonich

A 37 Year Old release from the (now Mothballed) Caperdonich distillery, owned by Chivas Brothers. The outturn of this cask was only 150 bottles. Supremely collectable.  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 6733 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)
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