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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...

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

70cl, 41.5%
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)
$524.97

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
$622.33

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)
$777.98

Brora 1982 (bottled 2015) (Lot. No. RO/15/01) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 46%
Brora

Distilled at the sadly closed Brora distillery in the Highlands of Scotland in 1982, this Gordon & MacPhail bottling matured in a refill Sherry puncheon.  More info

Brora 1982 (bottled 2015) (Lot. No. RO/15/01) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$777.98

Banff 1966 (bottled 2015) (Lot RO/15/03) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 45.2%
Banff

A Gordon & MacPhail bottling of 1966 vintage single malt Scotch whisky from the closed Banff distillery in Speyside. It was bottled in 2015 as part of the Rare Old range, which features…  More info

Banff 1966 (bottled 2015) (Lot RO/15/03) - Rare Old (Gordon & MacPhail)
$881.70

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)
$906.81

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)
$946.02

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)
$1,037.25

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

70cl, 53.7%
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)
$1,190.50

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)
$1,442.68

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)
$1,474.88

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
$2,018.69

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)
$2,070.46

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
$2,131.63

Glen Mhor 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 3934) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 47.1%
Glen Mhor

A very exciting independent bottling of 50 year old Glen Mhor single malt Scotch whisky - a rare whisky from a distillery which closed back in the early 1980s. This particularly bottling was…  More info

Glen Mhor 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 3934) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$2,327.15

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)
$2,489.52

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
$2,766.99

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 (Adelphi) 10cl

10cl, 47.1%
Caperdonich

A very well aged bottle of Caperdonich, or sample should we say! An excellent chance to try 38 year old single cask Caperdonich, this was distilled in 1970 and matured in cask number 4378 before…  More info

Caperdonich 38 Year Old 1970 (Adelphi) 10cl

Caperdonich 12 Year Old 1997 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46%
Caperdonich

This was distilled at the Caperdonich distillery in Speyside in the Spring of 1997 and matured for 12 years in a single refill hogshead (number 5569) before bottling by Douglas Laing for the…  More info

Caperdonich 12 Year Old 1997 - Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Caperdonich 17 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Caperdonich

This is an un-chill-filtered bottling of seventeen year old caperdonich by independent bottler Signatory.  More info

Caperdonich 17 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Imperial 15 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

Distilled at the Imperial distillery in 1995, this was aged for 15 years in two hogsheads. Bottled in 2011, a release of 737 bottles.  More info

Imperial 15 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Caperdonich 16 Year Old 1994 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Caperdonich

Bottled un-chill filtered, and with no caramel colouring, this is pure, unadulterated whisky. Distilled at Caperdonich on the 9th July 1994, it was aged in two hogsheads, and was bottled by Signatory…  More info

Caperdonich 16 Year Old 1994 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Imperial 11 Year Old 1998 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

An 11 year old from the now mothballed Imperial distillery. This was distilled in 1998 and bottled by Duncan Taylor in 2010 for their NC2 range (non chillfiltered and non caramel coloured).  More info

Imperial 11 Year Old 1998 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

70cl, 46%
Imperial

This is an Un-Chillfiltered Imperial from Signatory, distilled in October 1995 and aged for 17 years in a pair of hogsheads. It was bottled in 2012...  More info

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 - Un-Chillfiltered (Signatory)

Glen Mhor 1979 - Cask Strength (Gordon and MacPhail)

35cl, 66.7%
Glen Mhor

Distilled at the now silent Glen Mhor in 1979 and bottled in July 1995 at a thunderous cask strength.  More info

Glen Mhor 1979 - Cask Strength (Gordon and MacPhail)

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