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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...

Imperial 1996 (bottled 2015) - Gordon & MacPhail

70cl, 43%
Imperial

A Gordon & MacPhail bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the sadly closed Imperial distillery. It was distilled in 1996, 2 years before they shut their doors for the last time, and bottled in…  More info

Imperial 1996 (bottled 2015) - Gordon & MacPhail
1
$78.43

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 50154) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51%
Imperial

Single malt Scotch whisky from a distillery that was closed for 60% of its century or so long history. (Imperial is now one of the many sadly closed distilleries of Scotland.) Filled back on 21st…  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 50154) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$84.07

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 515463) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 48%
Imperial

20 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Imperial distillery, presented as part of the Duncan Taylor range. This is a 1995 vintage, meaning it was distilled a few years before the…  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 515463) - The Duncan Taylor Single
$210.85

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50224 + 50225) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 57.2%
Imperial

Part of Signatory's Cask Strength Collection, this 20 year old single malt from the closed and now demolished Imperial distillery comes from two consecutive hogsheads. Distilled on 18th September…  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50224 + 50225) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50242 & 50243) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

An independent Imperial here, bottled by Signatory for the Un-Chillfiltered Collection. It was distilled in September 1995 and aged for 20 years until February 2016, when it was bottled at 46% ABV…  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50242 & 50243) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50248 & 50249) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

Independent bottled single malt from the closed Imperial distillery, bottled by Signatory. This was distilled in September 1995 (a few years before Imperial closed its door for the last time) and…  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50248 & 50249) - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50254 & 50256) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54.8%
Imperial

An Imperial single malt Scotch whisky from Signatory's impressive Cask Strength Collection. It was distilled in 1995 and aged in two hogsheads for 20 years. 495 bottles were produced.  More info

Imperial 20 Year Old 1995 (casks 50254 & 50256) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

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)
$84.07

Imperial 21 Year Old 1976 (Signatory Vintage)

70cl, 43%
Imperial

This whisky is from the moth-balled distillery of Imperial. Although the distillery is currently silent, independent bottlers such as Signatory have bottled previous stock for your delectation.  More info

Imperial 21 Year Old 1976 (Signatory Vintage)

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50246 & 50247) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.6%
Imperial

21 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Imperial distillery, drawn from a pair of hogshead casks which were laid down in September 1995 and cracked open in October 2016. It was…  More info

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50246 & 50247) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50262 & 50263) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 50.8%
Imperial

Whisky from a closed distillery, independently bottled by Signatory! This comes from the Imperial distillery, drawn from a pair of hogshead casks which were laid down in September 1995 and cracked…  More info

Imperial 21 Year Old 1995 (casks 50262 & 50263) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$84.07

Imperial 22 Year Old 1990 (cask 11972) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 57.9%
Imperial

Bottled in March 2013 by Mackillop's; this 22 year old Imperial is ready to colonise your collection. Matured in bourbon cask 11972.  More info

Imperial 22 Year Old 1990 (cask 11972) - Mackillop's Choice

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

70cl, 58.4%
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

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

70cl, 57.9%
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)

Imperial 27 Year Old 1982 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 58.3%
Imperial

This was distilled at Imperial on the 24th June 1982, aged in refill sherry butt number 3973 for 27 years and bottled by Signatory on the 8th April 2010. A release of 649 numbered bottles.  More info

Imperial 27 Year Old 1982 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Imperial 35 Year Old 1976 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Imperial

This was distilled in October of 1976 at the Imperial distillery in Speyside. It was aged for 35 years in a refill butt and bottled in October 2011 at higher-than-usual bottling strength. Delicious…  More info

Imperial 35 Year Old 1976 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Inverleven 15 Year Old 1991 (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Inverleven

Distilled at the now silent Inverleven in 1991 and aged for 15 years in refill bourbon barrels before bottling by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info

Inverleven 15 Year Old 1991 (Gordon and MacPhail)

Inverleven 1990 (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Inverleven

A 1990 vintage Inverleven, bottled by stalwart independent bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail.  More info

Inverleven 1990 (Gordon and MacPhail)

Inverleven 27 Year Old 1977 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51%
Inverleven

A Signatory bottling from the now defunct Lowland distillery, Inverleven. This was distilled on the 14th September 1977, matured for an impressive 27 years before bottling on the 6th April 2005. A…  More info

Inverleven 27 Year Old 1977 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Inverleven 31 Year Old 1977 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 49.9%
Inverleven

This single cask Inverleven was distilled n the 14th September 1977 and aged for 31 years in bourbon barrel number 3608. It was bottled by Signatory on the 28th April 2009 and it is part of an…  More info

Inverleven 31 Year Old 1977 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1976 Cask 4111 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.4%
Inverleven

A 34 year old Inverleven, distilled in the Lowlands in November 1976, this was aged in a single bourbon barrel before bottling in January 2011.  More info

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1976 Cask 4111 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1977 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 48.7%
Inverleven

From Signatory's Cask Strength Collection comes this fabulous 34 year old single cask Inverleven. It was distilled on the 14th September 1977 and was aged in bourbon barrel 3605 before bottling on…  More info

Inverleven 34 Year Old 1977 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

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)
$294.43

Killyloch 36 Year Old 1967

70cl, 40%
Glenflagler

A rare 36 year old from Glenflagler, this bottling is a vatting of the last six casks from the distillery, distilled in 1967.  More info

Killyloch 36 Year Old 1967

Kinclaith 32 Year Old 1963 - Private Collection (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 40%
Kinclaith

A whisky from the Kinclaith distillery (a Lowland distillery which closed in 1975). This was distilled in 1963 and aged in cask number 100572 (a refill sherry hogshead) for 32 years before bottling…  More info

Kinclaith 32 Year Old 1963 - Private Collection (Gordon and MacPhail)

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