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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...

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1985 - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 46%
Littlemill

Littlemill was closed in 1992 and demolished four years later. Needless to say opne day there will be no Littlemill left, so grab a bottle while you can. This bottle was bottled by The Coopers Choice…  More info

Littlemill 25 Year Old 1985 - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

Coleburn 25 Year Old 1980 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Coleburn

The Speyside distillery of Coleburn closed in 1985 and it is becoming more and more difficult to locate a bottle, thankfully this twenty-five year old Coleburn has been bottled by Douglas Laing for…  More info

Coleburn 25 Year Old 1980 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

North Port (Brechin) 25 Year Old 1977 - Authentic Collection (Cadenhead's)

70cl, 56%
North Port

A very rare single malt whisky from Cadenhead's Authentic Collection, this was distilled at the North Port distillery in 1977 and it was aged for 25 years in a bourbon hogshead before bottling at…  More info

North Port (Brechin) 25 Year Old 1977 - Authentic Collection (Cadenhead's)

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1982 Advance Sample - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing) 20cl

20cl, 50%
Port Ellen

A 20cl Advance Sample from Douglas Laing. This was distilled at the Port Ellen distillery in November 1982 and aged for 25 years in sherry butt number 4673. It was bottled in September 2008.  More info

Port Ellen 25 Year Old 1982 Advance Sample - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing) 20cl

Brora 25 Year Old

70cl, 56.3%
Brora

A rare 25 year old release from the Brora distillery; less than 3,000 bottles were filled. This single malt was matured in American and European oak and exudes nutty, winter spice notes.  More info

Brora 25 Year Old
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Rosebank 25 Year Old

70cl, 61.4%
Rosebank

A cask strength official bottling from the Rosebank distillery, distilled in 1981 and matured for 25 years in refill Bourbon casks before bottling as a limited release of just 4,710 bottles.  More info

Rosebank 25 Year Old
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Littlemill 26 Years Old 1988 (cask 10599) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 56%
Littlemill

Single malt Scotch whisky from the closed (and dismantled) Littlemill distillery, matured in a single cask for 26 years and bottled by Douglas Laing for the Xtra Old Particular range. It was…  More info

Littlemill 26 Years Old 1988 (cask 10599) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 26 year old from perhaps Islay's most legendary distillery, Port Ellen. This was distilled in Spring 1983 (just a few months before the distillery was shut down permenantly), and it was aged in…  More info

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Linlithgow 26 Year Old 1982 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 61.2%
St. Magdalene

Linlithgow is distilled at the St Magdalene distillery in the Lowlands. This was distilled on the 5th October 1982 and matured for 26 years in wine treated butt number 2200 before bottling on the 3rd…  More info

Linlithgow 26 Year Old 1982 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Port Ellen

This was distilled not long before the Port Ellen distillery closed for good. Bottled in August 2009 by Douglas Laing, there are 610 bottles of this, from refill butt number 5441.  More info

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

St Magdalene 26 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
St. Magdalene

Distilled at St Magdalene in the Lowlands in September 1982, and aged for 26 years in refill butt number 4712 before bottling by Douglas Laing for the Old Malt Cask range in October 2008. A release…  More info

St Magdalene 26 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 54.7%
Port Ellen

A single cask Port Ellen! This was distilled on the 2nd March 1983 and matured for 26 years in a wine treated butt, which was cask number 232, before bottling on the 10th November 2009. A release of…  More info

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1983 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Glen Albyn 26 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts

70cl, 54.8%
Glen Albyn

A cask strength bottling from the now closed Glen Albyn distillery, distilled in 1975 and bottled at 26 years old in 2001.  More info

Glen Albyn 26 Year Old 1975 - Rare Malts

Ben Wyvis 27 Year Old 1972 The Final Resurrection

70cl, 43%
Ben Wyvis

A release of 471 rare bottles of Ben Wyvis single malt distilled in 1972 and bottled from what was at the time the final three remaining casks (casks 744, 1058 & 1059) owned by the distillery (one…  More info

Ben Wyvis 27 Year Old 1972 The Final Resurrection

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old, single cask Port Ellen, need we say more? Well, just in case we'll add that it was distilled in Spring 1983 (just before the legendary distillery closed for good) and was bottled in…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6101) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)
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Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - 6th Release (2006 Special Release)

70cl, 54.2%
Port Ellen

A rather rare bottling of 27 year old, 1978 vintage single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary (and sadly closed) Port Ellen distillery on Islay. This was released in 2006 as part of Diageo's 6th…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1978 - 6th Release (2006 Special Release)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 02 - bottled 2010) - Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

This is a single cask bottling of Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a refill butt from February 1983 until September 2010. Part of the Single Malts of Scotland range of independent…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 02 - bottled 2010) - Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks)

Littlemill 27 Year Old 1985 - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)

70cl, 46%
Littlemill

This was distilled at Littlemill in 1985 before a 27 year maturation in a single cask (number 110). It was bottled in 2012 for Vintage Malt Whisky Company's Coopers Choice range.  More info

Littlemill 27 Year Old 1985 - The Coopers Choice (The Vintage Malt Whisky Co.)
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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)

Glen Mhor 27 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Glen Mhor

A 27 year old from the Old Malt Cask range. This was distilled at the Glen Mhor distillery (which is now long gone) in August 1982 and it was aged in a refill hogshead before bottling in August 2009.  More info

Glen Mhor 27 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 Cask 517 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 59%
Port Ellen

A fabulous cask strength Port Ellen aged in a single refill butt (cask 517) for a whopping 27 years. Bottling on the 28th September 2010 by Signatory. A release of 608 bottles.  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 Cask 517 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6000) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old Port Ellen from a single cask! This was distilled in the Winter 1983 and aged in cask 6000 (a refill hogshead) before bottling in Spring 2010 for the Provenance range.  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 (cask 6000) - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1982 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 48.6%
Port Ellen

27 year old Port Ellen distilled in 1982. This is rare whisky, aged in Bourbon casks and finished in ChÔteau D'Yquem sauternes barrels. This was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2009, and…  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1982 - Mission (Murray McDavid)
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Glen Mhor 27 Year Old 1982 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55%
Glen Mhor

A single cask from the now closed Glen Mhor distillery. This was distilled on the 1st September 1982, matured for 27 years in hogshead number 1327 before bottling on the 6th April 2010 at cask…  More info

Glen Mhor 27 Year Old 1982 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
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Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Port Ellen

A 27 year old Port Ellen bottled under the Old Malt Cask label from Douglas Laing. It won't be around for ever, Port Ellen. And you'll miss it when it's gone so you will.  More info

Port Ellen 27 Year Old 1983 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

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