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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...

The Half-Century Blend - Batch 3

70cl, 47.3%
The Blended Whisky Company

Back in the days of yore ("yore" in the non-specific sense that can mean whatever moment of time we're talking about in any particular sentence), flavour ruled the roost when it came to whisky…  More info

The Half-Century Blend - Batch 3
$669.09

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)
$3,001.65

Garnheath 44 Year Old 1974 (cask 12373) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 45.8%
Garnheath

Though the Garnheath distillery may be closed, indie bottlers like Douglas Laing sometimes get their hands on the single grain Scotch whiskies produced there long ago - always an exciting prospect!…  More info

Garnheath 44 Year Old 1974 (cask 12373) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$322.78

Ladyburn 41 Year Old (William Grant & Sons)

70cl, 40%
Ladyburn

Boy oh boy! A very special bottling here - a 41 year old single malt from a closed distillery that shut its doors back in 1975, having only been founded in 1966! Yes, this is William Grant & Sons…  More info

Ladyburn 41 Year Old (William Grant & Sons)
$1,890.32

Carsebridge 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 12024) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 52.7%
Carsebridge

An indie bottling of 40 year old Carsebridge single grain - it could only be from Douglas Laing's incredible Xtra Old Particular range! This whisky was distilled back in October 1976 and bottled in…  More info

Carsebridge 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 12024) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$267.05

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 11341) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.9%
Caledonian

Single cask Caledonian single grain, aged for 40 years and independently bottled by Douglas Laing! This was distilled in April 1976 (around 12 years before the distillery was closed) and aged in a…  More info

Caledonian 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 11341) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$328.33

North Port Brechin 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 3887) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 50.4%
North Port

A very rare release of single malt Scotch whisky from North Port-Brechin (the distillery had various named during its lifetime, two most notably North Port and Brechin), which closed in 1983 and was…  More info

North Port Brechin 40 Year Old 1976 (cask 3887) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$1,502.51

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)
$868.14

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 nine years…  More info

Ladyburn 40 Year Old 1974 (cask 74) - Private Cask Collection (William Grant & Sons)
2
$2,676.56

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
$2,174.71

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

70cl, 51.9%
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)
1
$334.52

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

70cl, 49.4%
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)
$1,265.25

Port Ellen 37 Year Old 1979 - 17th Release (Special Release 2017)

70cl, 51%
Port Ellen

Well, well, well. It wouldn't be Diageo Special Releases without a Port Ellen expression, and this one really is rather lovely. Diageo's done the sums, and this is the oldest Port Ellen ever released…  More info

Port Ellen 37 Year Old 1979 - 17th Release (Special Release 2017)
1
$2,921.63

Brora 34 Year Old 1982 (Special Release 2017)

70cl, 51.9%
Brora

2017's Special Release Brora is the sixteenth in the series from this celebrated closed coastal distillery. Distilled in 1982, by which time far less peat was being used than during previous decade,…  More info

Brora 34 Year Old 1982 (Special Release 2017)
$1,613.85

Carsebridge 34 Year Old 1982 (cask 74603) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 49.9%
Carsebridge

A sight seldom seen - single grain from the closed Carsebridge distillery! This was distilled back in December 1982 and aged in a refill Sherry butt until July 2017, when Signatory came along to…  More info

Carsebridge 34 Year Old 1982 (cask 74603) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$249.32

Port Ellen 34 Year Old 1982 (cask 11481) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 48.5%
Port Ellen

Another knockout Douglas Laing bottling for the Xtra Old Particular range, this Port Ellen 34 Year Old was distilled in May of 1982, before it was charged from one refill hogshead cask and bottled…  More info

Port Ellen 34 Year Old 1982 (cask 11481) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$1,628.25

Glen Mhor 34 Years Old 1975 (cask 6034) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)

70cl, 43.7%
Glen Mhor

34 year old single malt Scotch whisky, distilled by Glen Mhor in 1975, around 8 years before the distillery was closed (and eventually demolished). This well-matured single malt Scotch whisky comes…  More info

Glen Mhor 34 Years Old 1975 (cask 6034) - Tantalus (Duncan Taylor)
$1,299.24

Caledonian 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.3%
Caledonian

Founded in 1855 and originally called Edinburgh distillery, Caledonian (or 'The Cally' as it was known by those who worked there) was located by Haymarket station in Edinburgh. Once home the largest…  More info

Caledonian 33 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
1
$169.45

Caledonian 33 Year Old 1982 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 51.5%
Caledonian

A yummy 33 year old single cask bottling of single grain Scotch whisky from the now closed Caledonian distillery! Distilled in October 1982 and bottled in January 2016, it aged in cask number 1254, a…  More info

Caledonian 33 Year Old 1982 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
1
$238.60

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 (cask 11120) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.6%
Port Ellen

A single cask bottling of rare Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky, independently bottled by Douglas Laing. This was distilled in 1982, a year before the distillery shut its doors for the final…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1982 (cask 11120) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$1,502.55

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1983 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)

70cl, 57.4%
Port Ellen

Port Ellen is arguably the most legendary of Scotland's closed whisky distilleries. Residing on the Isle of Islay, Port Ellen's stills sadly fell silent in 1983, but whisky enthusiasts continue to…  More info

Port Ellen 33 Year Old 1983 - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
$1,879.11

Port Ellen 1983 (bottled 2016) (cask 16055) - Malts of Scotland

70cl, 57.1%
Port Ellen

Indie bottlings of Port Ellen always cause lots of excitement among whisky enthusiasts, as the distillery has long been closed and sorely missed. This right here is a single cask bottling from the…  More info

Port Ellen 1983 (bottled 2016) (cask 16055) - Malts of Scotland
$1,332.70

Convalmore 32 Year Old 1984 (Special Release 2017)

70cl, 48.2%
Convalmore

Convalmore is a familiar face in the Diageo Special Releases line-ups, with the 2017 outturn marking the closed distillery's fourth appearance in the series. And this superb 32 year old shows exactly…  More info

Convalmore 32 Year Old 1984 (Special Release 2017)
$1,335.60

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)
$2,675.45

Carsebridge 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 74690) - Artist #7 (La Maison du Whisky)

70cl, 50.8%
Carsebridge

An independently bottled single grain from the Carsebridge distillery, presented as part of the Artist series by La Maison du Whisky. It was aged in a single hogshead from 1982 and bottled in 2017…  More info

Carsebridge 30 Year Old 1982 (cask 74690) - Artist #7 (La Maison du Whisky)
$325.14

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