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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...

Hillside 25 Year Old 1970 - Rare Malts

70cl, 60.10%
Glenesk

A 1970 vintage Hillside (or Glenesk, as it was known from 1980 onwards) single malt Scotch whisky, bottled at 25 years old for the Rare Malts collection. Glenesk has had a number of names over the…  More info

Hillside 25 Year Old 1970 - Rare Malts
$876.77

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1988 (cask 10349) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 56.20%
Littlemill

A Directors' Cut bottling of Littlemill single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single cask for 25 years. The distillery was closed in the 1990s and unfortunately destroyed in a fire in the 2000s.…  More info

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1988 (cask 10349) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)
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$186.62

Rosebank 25 Year Old

70cl, 61.40%
Rosebank

A cask strength official bottling from the Rosebank distillery, distilled in 1981 and matured for 25 years in refill Bourbon casks before bottling as a limited release of just 4,710 bottles.  More info

Rosebank 25 Year Old
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Millburn 25 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts

70cl, 62%
Millburn

Distilled at Millburn in 1975 and aged for 25 years before bottling in 2001 for Diageo's Rare Malts range.  More info

Millburn 25 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts

Port Ellen 25 Year Old (cask 2471) (Old Bothwell)

70cl, 51%
Port Ellen

Distilled at Port Ellen distillery on Islay in 1982, this Old Bothwell single cask release comes from one of the most sought after distilleries of all time. When Diageo sought to shut down one of…  More info

Port Ellen 25 Year Old (cask 2471) (Old Bothwell)
$457.56

Brora 25 Year Old

70cl, 56.30%
Brora

A rare 25 year old release from the Brora distillery; less than 3,000 bottles were filled. This single malt was matured in American and European oak and exudes nutty, winter spice notes.  More info

Brora 25 Year Old
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Littlemill 25 Year Old 1985 - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 46%
Littlemill

Littlemill was closed in 1992 and demolished four years later. Needless to say opne day there will be no Littlemill left, so grab a bottle while you can. This bottle was bottled by The Coopers Choice…  More info

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1985 - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)
$93.06

Coleburn 25 Year Old 1980 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Coleburn

The Speyside distillery of Coleburn closed in 1985 and it is becoming more and more difficult to locate a bottle, thankfully this twenty-five year old Coleburn has been bottled by Douglas Laing for…  More info

Coleburn 25 Year Old 1980 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
$142.79

North Port (Brechin) 25 Year Old 1977 - Authentic Collection (Cadenhead's)

70cl, 56%
North Port

A very rare single malt whisky from Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, this was distilled at the North Port distillery in 1977 and it was aged for 25 years in a bourbon hogshead before bottling at…  More info

North Port (Brechin) 25 Year Old 1977 - Authentic Collection (Cadenhead's)
$164.88

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)
$86.81

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

70cl, 57.30%
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)
$1643.81

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

70cl, 57.90%
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
$654.01

Brora 24 Year Old 1977 - Rare Malts

70cl, 56.10%
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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Littlemill 24 Year Old 1988 (cask 32) (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

70cl, 52.30%
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)
$104.13

Convalmore 24 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

70cl, 59.40%
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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Port Ellen 24 Year Old 1979 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 56.80%
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)
$549.76

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

70cl, 56.10%
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)
$933.51

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
$249.19

Imperial 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 12314) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 51.80%
Imperial

Indie Imperial! This is a Mackillop's Choice bottling of Imperial single malt Scotch whisky matured in a single cask from December 1990 and bottled in September 2014 with an outturn of 230 bottles.…  More info

Imperial 23 Year Old 1990 (cask 12314) - Mackillop's Choice
$201.53

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

70cl, 58.40%
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
$197.52

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

70cl, 57.90%
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)
$252.96

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
$384.08

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

70cl, 53.80%
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)
$199.58

Port Ellen 22 Year Old 1978 - Rare Malts

70cl, 60.50%
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, 61.10%
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)
$548.67

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