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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...

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 56.50%
Port Ellen

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

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1978 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing)
$1472.56

Port Ellen 36 Year Old 1979 (cask 10914) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 56.60%
Port Ellen

A 36 year old Port Ellen! Need we say more? Well, it was distilled in May 1979 and bottled by Douglas Laing for their Extra Old Particular range in September 2015. 227 bottles were filled from a…  More info

Port Ellen 36 Year Old 1979 (cask 10914) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$1363.19

Brora 37 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 50.40%
Brora

The fourteenth annual release of Brora single malt in Diageo's Special Releases is also the oldest in the series - a 37 year old 1977 vintage matured in refill American oak hogsheads. A release of…  More info

Brora 37 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2015)
2
$1582.28

Banff 38 Year Old 1975 (cask 1028) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 49.40%
Banff

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

Banff 38 Year Old 1975 (cask 1028) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1243.43

Carsebridge 38 Year Old 1976 (cask 130950) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 55.80%
Carsebridge

Well aged grain whisky from the closed Carsebridge distillery, bottled by Signatory for La Maison du Whisky's Hogshead series. It spent over 38 years in a single cask between October 1976 and August…  More info

Carsebridge 38 Year Old 1976 (cask 130950) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$329.95

Caledonian 39 Year Old 1976 (cask 900002) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51.90%
Caledonian

Single grain whisky from a closed distillery, matured for almost four decades in a single hogshead. This was distilled in April 1976 and set aside for 39 years until August 2015, when it was bottled…  More info

Caledonian 39 Year Old 1976 (cask 900002) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$328.48

Kinclaith 40 Year Old 1969 (cask 301445) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.30%
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
$2373.43

The Cally 40 Year Old 1974 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 53.30%
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)
$914.69

The Golden Age Blend

70cl, 44.30%
The Blended Whisky Company

The Golden Age Blend is an extraordinary whisky, harking back to the 'Golden Age' of distilling from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s, being made exclusively with whiskies that are at least 40 years…  More info

The Golden Age Blend
2
$426.79

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 7458) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.70%
Caperdonich

A Duncan Taylor bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Caperdonich distillery, distilled in 1972 and matured in cask 7458 for a massive 41 years! Though Caperdocih shut its doors back…  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1972 (cask 7458) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1305.54

Garnheath 42 Year Old 1974 (cask 11093) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.20%
Garnheath

A very rare bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the Garnheath distillery, which was sadly shut back in 1988. This was distilled in February 1974, matured in a single barrel for 42 years and…  More info

Garnheath 42 Year Old 1974 (cask 11093) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$284.39

Carsebridge 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 11847) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 41.50%
Carsebridge

Distilled in October 1965, this grain was bottled by Hunter Laing in October 2015. The outturn of the single refill hogshead in which this whisky spent half a century maturing was just 267 bottles at…  More info

Carsebridge 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 11847) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)
$597.59

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53%
Imperial

A splendid Imperial 16 year old, bottled by Duncan Taylor. This is non-chillfiltered and cask stregth, a nicely structured sweetish dram.  More info

Imperial 16 Year Old 1995 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

Glen Mhor Pure Malt Whisky

75cl, 40%
Glen Mhor

A "pure malt" from Glen Mhor, this is an incredibly rare whisky bottled in the days of "proof" and measuring volume in fluid ounces! A great whisky from a now lost distillery…  More info

Glen Mhor Pure Malt Whisky
$341.42

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)
$68.27

Imperial 19 Year Old 1990 (cask 11966) - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 43%
Imperial

A bottling of a 19-year-old Imperial single cask malt by Lorne Mackillop, who is descended from one of the survivors of the massacre of the Mackillop Clan at the hands of the english redcoats in 1745.  More info

Imperial 19 Year Old 1990 (cask 11966) - Mackillop's Choice

Glen Albyn 1976 (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Glen Albyn

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

Glen Albyn 1976 (Gordon & MacPhail)
$444.29

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

50cl, 45.60%
Caperdonich

This whisky is from the Speyside distillery of Caperdonich, a distillery with a turbulent history. Caperdonich opened in 1897 under the imaginative name Glen Grant Number Two, after its sister…  More info

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

Port Ellen - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 48.20%
Port Ellen

This whisky is from the long-since closed distillery of Port Ellen and despite a whole bunch of distilleries sadly closing in the early 1980s Port Ellen remains one of the most highly regarded.…  More info

Port Ellen - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
1

The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 1

70cl, 47.20%
The Blended Whisky Company

This phenomenal blend is made using whiskies distilled at closed distilleries. The whiskies in question become increasingly rare as the remaining stocks steadily dry up. Furthermore many of these…  More info

The Lost Distilleries Blend - Batch 1

Caperdonich 1998 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & Macphail)

70cl, 46%
Caperdonich

This is a popular distillery with aficionados. At one point it was known as Glen Grant No.2 after its sister distillery. Legend has it that the two were connected by a pipe to transfer whisky between…  More info

Caperdonich 1998 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & Macphail)
$50.65

Caperdonich - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 46.20%
Caperdonich

The Caperdonich distillery was sadly mothballed in 2002, though there is still some whisky available for fantastic bottlings such as this one from ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’. This label…  More info

Caperdonich - Batch 2 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Imperial 1994 (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Imperial

A vintage whisky from Gordon & MacPhail's Distillery Label range, this 2012 release was distilled in 1994 at Imperial, a now closed distillery, which in fact spent more of the last century closed…  More info

Imperial 1994 (Gordon & MacPhail)
1
$56.70

St Magdalene 1975 - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
St. Magdalene

Rare as hen's teeth, and a darn sight tastier. This 1975 St Magdalene was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.  More info

St Magdalene 1975 - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$216.92

Caperdonich - Batch 3 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 45.70%
Caperdonich

This is Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Caperdonich, bottled at 45.7% abv with a cult graphic-novel-style label featuring the legendary pipe that supposedly ran between Caperdonich and…  More info

Caperdonich - Batch 3 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
1

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