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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...

Banff 38 Year Old 1975 (cask 1028) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 49.4%
Banff

Duncan Taylor only use rare, well aged whisky for their Tantalus range of releases, and this Banff single malt Scotch whisky fits the bill very well indeed. The Banff distillery closed in 1983, but…  More info

Banff 38 Year Old 1975 (cask 1028) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1,066.81

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)
$1,519.57

Caledonian 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.3%
Caledonian

Founded in 1855 and originally called Edinburgh distillery, Caledonian (or 'The Cally' as it was known by those who worked there) was located by Haymarket station in Edinburgh. Once home the largest…  More info

Caledonian 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$159.23

Caledonian 33 Year Old 1982 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 51.5%
Caledonian

A yummy 33 year old single cask bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the now closed Caledonian distillery! Distilled in October 1982 and bottled in January 2016, it aged in cask number 1254, a…  More info

Caledonian 33 Year Old 1982 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
$224.21

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 23630) - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52.8%
Caledonian

A very exciting independent bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the long-closed (and now demolished) Caledonian distillery. It was distilled in March 1974 and matured in a single cask for…  More info

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 23630) - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)
$453.04

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 7458) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.7%
Caperdonich

A Duncan Taylor bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery, distilled in 1972 and matured in cask 7458 for a massive 41 years! Though Caperdocih shut its doors back…  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 7458) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1,121.85

Carsebridge 43 Year Old 1973 (cask 12653) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 54.3%
Carsebridge

A rare bottling of Carsebridge single grain Scotch whisky, distilled in May 1973 and bottled in June 2016. Whiskies from closed distilleries (like Carsebridge) are highly sought-after by enthusiasts…  More info

Carsebridge 43 Year Old 1973 (cask 12653) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)
$251.35

Carsebridge 52 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 40.5%
Carsebridge

A 52 year old single grain Scotch whisky from a distillery that closed back in 1983! Good it is, too. The label, meanwhile, features Tristan Stephenson and Thomas Aske (the chaps behind the Worship…  More info

Carsebridge 52 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
1
$243.08

Glen Mhor 34 Years Old 1975 (cask 6034) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 43.7%
Glen Mhor

34 year old single malt Scotch whisky, distilled by Glen Mhor in 1975, around 8 years before the distillery was closed (and eventually demolished). This well-matured single malt Scotch whisky comes…  More info

Glen Mhor 34 Years Old 1975 (cask 6034) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1,220.90

Glen Mhor 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 3934) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 47.1%
Glen Mhor

A very exciting independent bottling of 50 year old Glen Mhor single malt Scotch whisky - a rare whisky from a distillery which closed back in the early 1980s. This particularly bottling was…  More info

Glen Mhor 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 3934) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$2,288.56

Glenesk 1980 (bottled 2014) (Lot No. RO/14/04) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Glenesk

A Gordon & MacPhail bottling of Glenesk single malt selected for their Rare Old series.  More info

Glenesk 1980 (bottled 2014) (Lot No. RO/14/04) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$470.65

Glenlochy 1979 (bottled 2012) - Rare Old (Gordon & Macphail)

70cl, 46%
Glenlochy

This single malt whisky was distilled at the now demolished Glenlochy in 1979. Located in Fort William, the distillery would close just 4 years later. This rare independent release from Gordon &…  More info

Glenlochy 1979 (bottled 2012) - Rare Old (Gordon & Macphail)
1
$521.90

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3231) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 48%
Glenlochy

Rare single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Glenlochy distillery, aged in a single hogshead cask for 35 years. It was distilled in November 1980, three years before the distillery was shut, and…  More info

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3231) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$993.00

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3232) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 51.1%
Glenlochy

A 35 year old Glenlochy single malt, aged in a single hogshead cask (#3232) from November 1980 to December 2015. Not much of this around these days, as the distillery was closed back in 1983. 218…  More info

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3232) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$993.00

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50262 & 50263) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 50.8%
Imperial

20 year old single malt from the Imperial distillery, which was laid down in two hogshead casks in September 1995 and drawn from said casks in June 2016. It was bottled by Signatory for their Cask…  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50262 & 50263) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$85.11

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

70cl, 51.8%
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
$234.80

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1978 (cask 5781) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 41.2%
Inverleven

34 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Inverleven distillery, which has been closed since 1991. Luckily, we've got independent bottlers like Duncan Taylor who are more than happy to present…  More info

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1978 (cask 5781) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$955.76

Kinclaith 35 Year Old 1969 (cask 301446) - Rare And Very Old - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

75cl, 51.3%
Kinclaith

A smartly packaged and incredibly rare single cask whisky from Signatory. The Kinclaith distillery was closed in 1975, and its whisky is highly sought-after. This was aged for 35 years in hogshead…  More info

Kinclaith 35 Year Old 1969 (cask 301446) - Rare And Very Old - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$1,457.54

Kinclaith 40 Year Old 1969 (cask 301445) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.3%
Kinclaith

Single malt whisky from Kinclaith is extremely rare and highly sought after. Built to provide malt whisky for the Long John blend, the distillery was only in operation for 18 years, between 1957 an…  More info

Kinclaith 40 Year Old 1969 (cask 301445) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
2
$2,039.48

Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons)

70cl, 48.6%
Ladyburn

It's incredibly rare to see a bottling of Ladyburn single malt Scotch whisky, seeing as the distillery was closed in 1975 after only being founded on the Girvan grain distillery site 9 years prior.…  More info

Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons)
1
$2,719.52

Linlithgow 25 Year Old 1982 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 51.4%
St. Magdalene

A cask strength release from Murray McDavid's Mission range. This was distilled at the St Magdalene distillery (sometimes known as Linlithgow) in 1982, it was then aged in bourbon casks before a…  More info

Linlithgow 25 Year Old 1982 - Mission Gold (Murray McDavid)
$916.15

Littlemill 27 Year Old 1988 - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)

150cl, 56%
Littlemill

A magnum of whisky from a closed distillery! Matured in a single refill hogshead, the outturn was just 23 of these huge 1.5 litre bottles at natural cask strength. Littlemill lies in the Lowland…  More info

Littlemill 27 Year Old 1988 - Old & Rare (Hunter Laing)
$1,490.07

Pittyvaich 25 Year Old 1989 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 49.9%
Pittyvaich

One of a group of distilleries to feature in the 2015 Special Releases that's rarely seen, in this case because it was only open from 1974 to 1993. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads and…  More info

Pittyvaich 25 Year Old 1989 (Special Release 2015)
$261.99

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1978 - 4th Release (2004 Special Release)

70cl, 56.2%
Port Ellen

A rare Diageo Special Release of single malt from the legendary closed distillery of Port Ellen, bottled in 2004! We were lucky enough to taste this release at Fèis Ìle 2011. This bottle was part…  More info

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1978 - 4th Release (2004 Special Release)
$2,090.73

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52%
Port Ellen

Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast - a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1983 (cask 671) Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
2
$1,933.53

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