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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...

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)
1
$332.53

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)

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)
2
$1,507.04

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)
1

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)

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
$2,546.39

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
$1,348.43

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)
$295.61

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
$1,158.86

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)
1

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 6735 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 51.4%
Caperdonich

A single cask Caperdonich bottled for the Duncan Taylor Rare Auld range. This was distilled in October 1972 and aged for 37 years in cask 6735 before bottling as a release of 180 bottles in August…  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 6735 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7437 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.5%
Caperdonich

Distilled in November 1972 and aged for 37 years in cask number 7437. This was bottled in July 2010 at Cask Strength for Duncan Taylor's prestigious Rare Auld range. A release of 161 bottles.  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7437 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)
1

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7416 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 55.6%
Caperdonich

Distilled at Caperdonich in November 1972, and aged for 37 years in cask number 7416 before bottling in April 2010 by Duncan Taylor. This is part of a release of 114 numbered bottles.  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7416 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7420 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.4%
Caperdonich

A single cask Caperdonich distilled in November 1972 and aged for 37 years in cask number 7420 before bottling by Duncan Taylor for the Rare Auld range at cask strength in January 2010. A release of…  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7420 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Banff 37 Year Old 1975 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 45.1%
Banff

A sublime old Banff from Duncan Taylor's Rarest of the Rare range, this was distilled in August 1975 before a single cask maturation of 37 years. It was bottled in September 2012 and comes at natural…  More info

Banff 37 Year Old 1975 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

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

70cl, 56.6%
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)
$1,197.75

Convalmore 36 Year Old 1977 (2013 Special Release)

70cl, 58%
Convalmore

A fantastic 36 year old from the closed distillery of Convalmore, silent since 1985. Matured in European Oak refill casks, only 2,680 sought after, natural cask strength bottles are available as part…  More info

Convalmore 36 Year Old 1977 (2013 Special Release)
1
$680.76

Rare Ayrshire (Ladyburn) 36 Year Old 1975 (cask 3419) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Ladyburn

Distilled at Ladyburn in Ayrshire in 1975 (the year the distillery was closed), this Lowland whisky was bottled within 10 days of its 37th birthday. Ladyburn operated for just 9 years, during which…  More info

Rare Ayrshire (Ladyburn) 36 Year Old 1975 (cask 3419) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Banff 36 Year Old 1975 - Old and Rare (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 41.8%
Banff

A brilliant and very rare 36 year old from the Banff distillery. This was distilled in November 1975 and aged in a single refill hogshead before bottling in June 2012. A wonderful single cask whisky…  More info

Banff 36 Year Old 1975 - Old and Rare (Douglas Laing)

Rare Ayrshire 36 Year Old 1975 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 44.1%
Ladyburn

A spicy, bourbon barrel-matured single cask Rare Ayrshire, aged for 36 years in barrel number 3416 before bottling in 2012.  More info

Rare Ayrshire 36 Year Old 1975 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

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