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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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Distilled at Glen Mhor in 1980 and bottled in 2006, an old bottling for a now closed distillery.  More info
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
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
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
A Berry Brothers & Rudd bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery. It was distilled in 1995, around 7 years before the distillery closed its doors for the last time...  More info
A 20 year old bottling, distilled in 1979 before bottling at cask strength for Diageo's Rare Malts range.  More info
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
An independently bottled Littlemill single malt Scotch whisky, distilled in 1992, before the distillery closed its doors. It was bottled in 2013 by Part Des Anges for their Closed Distilleries range.  More info
A rare bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery, matured in a single refill hogshead for 21 years. This was distilled in July 1994, a while before the distillery...  More info
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
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
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
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
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
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
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
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
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
A Hunter Laing bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from one of the most renowned closed distilleries in Scotland - Port Ellen. Distilled at the Islay distillery in September 1978 and aged in 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
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
User Rating:  (1 Review)
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
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
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
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
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
User Rating:  (1 Review)
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
User Rating:  (1 Review)
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