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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...

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)
$989.15

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
$233.75

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)
$951.47

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)
$1,451.00

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
$2,030.33

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)
2
$2,782.95

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)
$912.04

Littlemill 1991 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/16/02) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Littlemill

A rare bottling of Littlemill single malt! This was distilled in 1991 and bottled in 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail for their Rare Old range. Littlemill is no more, with the production halting in 1992 and…  More info

Littlemill 1991 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/16/02) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$391.23

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)
$1,483.39

Lochside 1981 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/07) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Lochside

Though the Lochside distillery is gone (it was closed in 1992 and finally demolished in 2005), you can still get a taste of their whiskies from independent bottlings - just like this one right here!…  More info

Lochside 1981 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/07) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$469.48

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)
$260.82

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)
$2,082.40

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
$2,143.92

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)

70cl, 53.9%
Port Ellen

32 year old single malt Scotch whisky from an Islay distillery that was mothballed in 1983 and never reopened. The whisky comes from the final year of production. Matured in refill European oak butts…  More info

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1983 - 15th Release (2015 Special Release)
$2,503.88

Port Ellen 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 47.5%
Port Ellen

It's the sixth batch of Port Ellen independently bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company, and the first to boast an age statement on its label - this right here is a 33 year old single malt from…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$1,043.23

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 58.3%
Port Ellen

Sherry matured single cask Port Ellen! Hunter Laing have bottled this extremely exciting 33 year old malt from this famous closed Islay distillery. Bottled from the Sherry butt in October 2015, just…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$1,930.08

St Magdalene 1982 (bottled 2015) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
St. Magdalene

This is Lot No. RO/15/05, bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in 2015. St Magdalene is a closed distillery, shutting its doors in 1983 so not long after this whisky was distilled.  More info

St Magdalene 1982 (bottled 2015) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$497.33

The Cally 40 Year Old 1974 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 53.3%
Caledonian

A single grain whisky in the Special Releases! The first since 2011's Port Dundas and only the second ever as far as we can remember. Caledonian grain distillery in Edinburgh closed in 1988 and is…  More info

The Cally 40 Year Old 1974 (Special Release 2015)
$782.46

The Half-Century Blend

70cl, 45.5%
The Blended Whisky Company

Launched in the latter half of 2016, The Half-Century Blend is The Blended Whisky Company's bottle-shaped love letter to the days of whisky production where "less efficient barley-strains, sprawling…  More info

The Half-Century Blend
5
$625.92

The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 8

70cl, 53.1%
The Blended Whisky Company

The Lost Distilleries Blend from The Blended Whisky Company is an outstanding expression made exclusively with Scotch whiskies from distilleries that have sadly closed over the years. The whiskies…  More info

The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 8
18
$365.09

The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 9

70cl, 52.1%
The Blended Whisky Company

The Blended Whisky Company's Lost Distilleries Blend is an astonishing expression crafted using whiskies exclusively from distilleries which have shut over the years. Though gone, these distilleries…  More info

The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 9
1
$365.09

Ayrshire - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 47.2%
Ladyburn

'Ayrshire' single malt, as you may know, comes from the... well, the clue's in the label design really. A burning lady? A burning lady in a burn? A lady-burn? Yes, that. Apologies for it being so…  More info

Ayrshire - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Ayrshire 34 Year Old 1973 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 42.4%
Ladyburn

This Ayrshire was distilled at Ladyburn in October 1973, and aged in cask 5787 for 34 years before bottling in January 2008. Part of a release of 185 bottles from Duncan Taylor's prestigious Rarest…  More info

Ayrshire 34 Year Old 1973 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

Banff 1976 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Banff

A 32 year old bottling from the Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseur's Choice range. This single malt from the Banff distillery was matured in refill sherry casks before bottling in 2008.  More info

Banff 1976 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

Banff 21 Year Old 1982 - Rare Malts

70cl, 57.1%
Banff

A cask strength 21 year old bottling from Diageo's Rare Malts range, this 1982 vintage proffers a last chance to own a bottle from the Banff distillery, closed for over 15 years. Please note that…  More info

Banff 21 Year Old 1982 - Rare Malts

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