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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...

Caperdonich 20 Year Old 1992 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 54.70%
Caperdonich

This is a superb single cask Caperdonich from Duncan Taylor's impressive Rarest of the Rare range. It was distilled in April 1992 before a 20 year maturation in cask 46215. It was bottled at natural…  More info

Caperdonich 20 Year Old 1992 - Rarest of the Rare  (Duncan Taylor)
$223.62

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

50cl, 47.20%
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)

Rare Ayrshire 37 Year Old 1975 (cask 3424) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 47.50%
Ladyburn

A rare bottling from the closed distillery of Ladyburn in Ayrshire, aged for 37 years in a single bourbon barrel. An outturn of 183 natural cask strength bottles from Signatory.  More info

Rare Ayrshire 37 Year Old 1975 (cask 3424) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$236.42

Rare Ayrshire 36 Year Old 1975 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 44.10%
Ladyburn

A spicy, bourbon barrel-matured single cask Rare Ayrshire, aged for 36 years in barrel number 3416 before bottling in 2012.  More info

Rare Ayrshire 36 Year Old 1975 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$236.42

Coleburn 1981 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Coleburn

A 27 year old bottling from Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseur's Choice range, single malts from the Coleburn distillery are decidedly rare and this refill sherry matured expression is a wonderful…  More info

Coleburn 1981 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
2
$236.51

Glen Mhor 28 Year Old 1976 - Rare Malts

70cl, 51.90%
Glen Mhor

A very rare edition of 28 year old single malt from the silent Glen Mhor distillery, bottled under Diageo's Rare Malts label.  More info

Glen Mhor 28 Year Old 1976 - Rare Malts

Brechin 28 Year Old

70cl, 53%
North Port

Part of a release of just 2,040 bottles of Brechin (aka North Port). This was aged for 28 years before bottling at cask strength.  More info

Brechin 28 Year Old

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3254 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 40.30%
Caperdonich

Distilled in October 1969 at the Caperdonich distillery, aged for 41 years in single cask 3254 and bottled for the Rarest of the Rare series in March 2011. A release of 176 bottles.  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3254 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

SMWS No. 25.32 11 Year Old 1992

70cl, 54.30%
Rosebank

A stupendous single cask whisky from SMWS from a secret distillery (let's just say its R -Bank. No, that's too obvious, let's call it Rose-B). This is a berry-fruit-rich whisky from the now closed…  More info

SMWS No. 25.32 11 Year Old 1992
$241.70

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
$246.22

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 46220) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 54.50%
Caperdonich

A deluxe bottling of single malt Scotch whisky distilled by Caperdonich, which was sadly mothballed in 2002. Bottled by Duncan Taylor for their Single range, this 21 year old whisky comes in a…  More info

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 46220) - The Duncan Taylor Single
$246.79

Brora 25 Year Old

70cl, 56.30%
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
1

Rosebank 1990 (bottled 2014) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Rosebank

Here's one for whisky historians - a 1990 vintage single malt Scotch whisky from the Rosebank distillery in the Lowlands, which was closed in 1993. This whisky was bottled in 2014 for Lot RO/14/02 as…  More info

Rosebank 1990 (bottled 2014) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$248.31

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)
2

Glen Mhor 29 Year Old 1982 (cask 1604) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 51%
Glen Mhor

This was distilled at Glen Mhor on the 22nd September 1982, and it was aged for 29 years in hogshead 1604 before bottling by Signatory at natural cask strength.  More info

Glen Mhor 29 Year Old 1982 (cask 1604) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$253.71

Littlemill 1991 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/04) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 45.50%
Littlemill

Independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from the sadly departed Littlemill distillery, which was mothballed back in 1992 - this whisky was distilled a year prior to this sad occasion. It was…  More info

Littlemill 1991 (bottled 2015) (Lot No. RO/15/04) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$254.55

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

70cl, 48.60%
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)
1

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

70cl, 55.70%
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)
$258.08

Glen Mhor 1980 (bottled 2007) - (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Glen Mhor

This is a Gordon & MacPhail bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the now sadly demolished Glen Mhor distillery. Standing proud in Inverness from the 1890s until the 1980s, Glen Mhor was a…  More info

Glen Mhor 1980 (bottled 2007) - (Gordon & MacPhail)
$259.83

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3245 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 41.80%
Caperdonich

This was distilled at the Caperdonich distillery in October of 1969, and it was aged in cask 3245 for 41 years before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their Rarest of the Rare collection in May of 2011.…  More info

Caperdonich 41 Year Old 1969 Cask 3245 - Rarest of the Rare (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 40 Year Old 1968 - Peerless (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 52%
Caperdonich

Aged for a whopping 40 years, this Caperdonich is an incredible whisky from Duncan Taylor's Peerless range. Each whisky in the range is aged for at least 40 years in the vaults of the distilleries…  More info

Caperdonich 40 Year Old 1968 - Peerless (Duncan Taylor)

Glen Albyn 1975 (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 46%

A rare single malt, distilled in 1975 at the now silent Glen Albyn distillery, a rare smooth, fresh whisky.  More info

Glen Albyn 1975 (Gordon and MacPhail)
$271.99

Caperdonich 23 Year Old 1992 (cask 411035) - The Duncan Taylor Single

70cl, 48%
Caperdonich

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

Caperdonich 23 Year Old 1992 (cask 411035) - The Duncan Taylor Single
$273.96

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

70cl, 57.90%
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)
$278.11

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)

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