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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...

Rosebank 20 Year Old 1981 - Rare Malts

70cl, 62.3%
Rosebank

A very rare bottling from the now silent Rosebank distillery, a cask strength release, aged for 20 years. Bottled as part of the Rare Malts range.  More info

Rosebank 20 Year Old 1981 - Rare Malts

Convalmore 1984 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Convalmore

A 23 year old expression from Gordon and MacPhail, this was distilled at the now silent Convalmore distillery in 1984 and matured in refill sherry hogsheads before bottling in July of 2008.  More info

Convalmore 1984 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
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Imperial 35 Year Old 1976 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Imperial

This was distilled in October of 1976 at the Imperial distillery in Speyside. It was aged for 35 years in a refill butt and bottled in October 2011 at higher-than-usual bottling strength. Delicious…  More info

Imperial 35 Year Old 1976 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Rosebank 21 Year Old 1990 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

70cl, 54.6%
Rosebank

This was distilled at Rosebank in 1990. It was aged for 21 years in a bourbon barrel before bottling by Murray McDavid in 2011 at the Bruichladdich distillery. A release of 270 bottles at natural…  More info

Rosebank 21 Year Old 1990 - Mission (Murray McDavid)

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1982 Cask 4447 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Port Ellen

A stunning 26 year old from the Port Ellen distillery - one of the most legendary distilleries in the world. This was distilled in February 1982 and aged for 26 years in sherry butt number 4447…  More info

Port Ellen 26 Year Old 1982 Cask 4447 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Garnheath 40 Year Old 1969 - The Clan Denny (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 47.9%
Garnheath

A well aged grain whisky from the Garnheath distillery (a pretty much unknown Grain distillery which operated within the Moffat complex in the Lowlands). This was aged in cask HH 5538 - a refill…  More info

Garnheath 40 Year Old 1969 - The Clan Denny (Douglas Laing)
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Dallas Dhu 33 Year Old 1975 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 46.7%
Dallas Dhu

A Signatory bottling from Dallas Dhu, this was distilled on the 8th October 1975, matured for 33 years in hogshead number 1899, before bottling on the 28th April 2009. A release of just 181…  More info

Dallas Dhu 33 Year Old 1975 - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
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Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)

70cl, 55.1%
Imperial

A Part Des Anges Closed Distilleries bottling of single malt Scotch whisky from the Imperial Distillery, which was mothballed in 1998 and has yet to reopen its doors. This whisky was distilled in…  More info

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)
$112.90

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 (bottled 2013) - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)

70cl, 55.1%
Imperial

From the Part Des Anges Closed Distilleries independent bottling range comes a 17 year old Imperial single malt scotch whisky bottled without chill filtration at natural cask strength. It was…  More info

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 (bottled 2013) - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)
$112.90

Caperdonich - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 48.1%
Caperdonich

The fourth batch of Caperdonich single malt Scotch whisky, bottled by 'That Boutique-y Whisky Company', once again features the cheeky bunch who allegedly were pinching whisky under cover of darkness…  More info

Caperdonich - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
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Caperdonich 28 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Caperdonich

This was distilled at the Caperdonich distilled in June 1982 and aged in a refill hogshead for 28 years before bottling in September 2010. A release of 310 bottles from the Old Malt Cask range.  More info

Caperdonich 28 Year Old 1982 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
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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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Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 10282) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.5%
Caperdonich

A single cask bottling of 21 year old single malt from the Caperdonich distillery, which sadly shut its door in 2002. It has been released as part of the Douglas Laing Old Particular series.…  More info

Caperdonich 21 Year Old 1992 (cask 10282) - Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

Coleburn 29 Year Old 1979 - Mackillop's Choice

70cl, 44.3%
Coleburn

This is a 29 year old Mackillop's Coleburn bottled in 2008. Sadly Coleburn is now a closed distillery, but this bottling provides the opportunity to try some!  More info

Coleburn 29 Year Old 1979 - Mackillop's Choice

Rosebank 10 Year Old 1990 (Signatory)

70cl, 43%
Rosebank

A rare single cask Rosebank, bottled in 2000 by Signatory. This is a fine, oak matured Lowland whisky, a favourite of Jim Murray, which is getting hard to find given the sad and silent state of the…  More info

Rosebank 10 Year Old 1990 (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)

Dallas Dhu 29 Year Old 1981 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53%
Dallas Dhu

Distilled at Dallas Dhu in April 1981 and aged for 29 years in cask 388 before bottling by Duncan Taylor in May 2010 as part of a release of 271 individually numbered, cask strength bottles.  More info

Dallas Dhu 29 Year Old 1981 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

St Magdalene 1975 - Rare Old (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
St. Magdalene

Distilled at the now silent St Magdalene distillery in 1975 and aged for thirty years in refill sherry hogsheads before bottling in 2005 by Gordon and MacPhail.  More info

St Magdalene 1975 - Rare Old (Gordon and MacPhail)

Imperial 18 Year Old 1995 - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)

70cl, 56.1%
Imperial

From the Part Des Anges Closed Distilleries range, which of course focuses on whiskies from distilleries which have sadly shut their doors, comes an 18 year old single malt from the Imperial…  More info

Imperial 18 Year Old 1995 - Closed Distilleries (Part Des Anges)
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$118.08

Glen Esk 1984 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Glenesk

Distilled at Glen Esk in 1984 and aged for 20 years before bottling in 2004 for Gordon and MacPhail's Connoisseur's Choice range.  More info

Glen Esk 1984 - Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail)

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 46.8%
Caperdonich

A rare 1972 vintage from one of Scotland's lost distilleries. This was matured in a standard cask before a three month finish in a special sherry Octave. This gave the whisky some added richness.…  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 - The Octave (Duncan Taylor)

Glenlochy 1968 - Rare Old (Gordon and MacPhail)

70cl, 43%
Glenlochy

A 1968 vintage and a very rare bottling from the Gordon and MacPhail Rare Old whisky range. The Glenlochy distillery closed several times and was finally demolished in 1986.  More info

Glenlochy 1968 - Rare Old (Gordon and MacPhail)

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7416 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 55.6%
Caperdonich

Distilled at Caperdonich in November 1972, and aged for 37 years in cask number 7416 before bottling in April 2010 by Duncan Taylor. This is part of a release of 114 numbered bottles.  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7416 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7420 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 53.4%
Caperdonich

A single cask Caperdonich distilled in November 1972 and aged for 37 years in cask number 7420 before bottling by Duncan Taylor for the Rare Auld range at cask strength in January 2010. A release of…  More info

Caperdonich 37 Year Old 1972 Cask 7420 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 (cask 9527) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.3%
Imperial

17 year old whisky from the now-closed Imperial distillery. Part of the prestigious Directors' Cut range. Distilled in October 1995 and bottled in February 2013, the outturn was just 99 bottles!  More info

Imperial 17 Year Old 1995 (cask 9527) - Directors' Cut (Douglas Laing)

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