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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...

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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
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This is a Gordon & MacPhail bottling of Brora single malt Scotch whisky, as part of their Connoisseurs Choice range. This bottling features whisky which was distilled in 1982, a year before the...  More info
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A 26 year old from the Connoisseur's Choice range. This bottling was matured in refill sherry casks and bottled in 2008 exhibiting the typical Brora style; though a Northern Highland malt, it has a...  More info
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A well-loved regular of Diageo's Special Releases, single malt from the closed Brora distillery is hugely sought after by connoisseurs and collectors alike. For the 2014...  More info
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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
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An independent bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the seldom-seen Coleburn distillery, which was closed in 1985. Very collectible for whisky historians, this. It was distilled in 1972, long...  More info
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A cask strength edition, 1979 vintage, part of Diageo's Rare Malts range, this 21 year old proffers a rare chance to sample a single malt from the now closed Coleburn distillery.  More info
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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
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How often do you see Dallas Dhu single malt, eh? "Not often" is likely your answer, as the distillery in the Speyside region has been closed since 1983 (though all of the distillation equipment is...  More info
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A pair of beautiful looking decanter bottles, bottled by Signatory. Both are from the Littlemill distillery, in the Lowlands. Dunglass was the name given to peated whisky distilled at Littlemill...  More info
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This Glen Albyn was distilled in 1976 and was bottled by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail. Glen Albyn was closed in 1983 and demolished three years later, needless to say this is a rare bottling.  More info
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An incredibly rare and exciting find for whisky history buffs. This is a bottle of Glen Flagler Scotch whisky, bottled in the 1970s. The lowland distillery in Airdrie where it was produced was founded...  More info
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Distilled at Glen Mhor in 1980 and bottled in 2006, an old bottling for a now closed distillery.  More info
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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
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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
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This is a thirty-two year old single malt whisky from the Glenlochy distillery bottled by Signatory for their Cask Strength Collection. The distillery was closed in 1983 and today only the...  More info
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Official bottlings of Glenugie single malt Scotch whisky are rare as hen's teeth, considering the distillery was closed in 1983. This is the second release from the Deoch an Doras range of official...  More info
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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
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Independently bottled Imperial single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1995 and left to mature in refill Sherry casks. It was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for the Distillery labels series, which shows...  More info
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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. It...  More info
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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 has...  More info
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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
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A 20 year old bottling, distilled in 1979 before bottling at cask strength for Diageo's Rare Malts range.  More info
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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 releases...  More info
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This is a classic Rare Malts bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the infamous, though sadly closed, Port Ellen distillery on Islay. Matured for 20 years after being distilled in 1978, it was...  More info
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