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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 45 Year Old 1973 (cask 15566) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

70cl, 47.7%
Carsebridge

Another stunner from Carsebridge, independently bottled without chill filtration or additional colouring at cask strength by Hunter Laing for The Sovereign range in 2018. This single grain Scotch…  More info

Carsebridge 45 Year Old 1973 (cask 15566) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)
$285.30

Caledonian 42 Year Old 1976 (cask 12769) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.3%
Caledonian

42 year old single grain from the Caledonian distillery, independently bottled by Douglas Laing for the Xtra Old Particular range - which is reserved for rare, Very well-matured whiskies. This one…  More info

Caledonian 42 Year Old 1976 (cask 12769) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$362.10

Carsebridge 41 Year Old 1976 (cask 12768) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50.8%
Carsebridge

41 year old single grain from the Carsebridge distillery, which has sadly sat silent for many years. This one was distilled in October 1976 and left to age in a refill hogshead until August 2018,…  More info

Carsebridge 41 Year Old  1976 (cask 12768) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$340.14

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
$4,260.44

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)
$824.60
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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
$2,638.72

Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition

70cl, 46.8%
Littlemill

Though the Littlemill distillery is no longer a thing, the whiskies produced at this Lowland distillery continue to sneak out to whisky enthusiasts - and this is a big one. This is a 40 year old old…  More info

Littlemill 40 Year Old Celestial Edition
$6,583.61

Brora 37 Year Old 1977 (Special Release 2015)

70cl, 50.4%
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)
3
$2,193.44

North Port Brechin 36 Year Old 1981 (cask 1708) - 30th Anniversary Gift Box (Signatory)

70cl, 57.2%
North Port

A rare whisky from the closed North Port distillery (it had many names over the years, with North Port and Brechin among the most well known). This one is 36 years old, distilled in November 1981 and…  More info

North Port Brechin 36 Year Old 1981 (cask 1708) - 30th Anniversary Gift Box (Signatory)
$1,401.82

Dallas Dhu 36 Year Old 1971 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 46.2%
Dallas Dhu

A very collectible and well-aged bottling of Dallas Dhu single malt, matured in a single refill hogshead for 36 years - from April 1971 to January 2008. Just 161 bottles of this rare whisky were…  More info

Dallas Dhu 36 Year Old 1971 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
$439.78

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1982 (cask 2040) - 30th Anniversary Gift Box (Signatory)

70cl, 55.1%
Port Ellen

A bottling of very rare Port Ellen single malt, distilled in September 1982 and left to age in a single refill sherry butt for 35 years, before being bottled in July 2018. 567 bottles were produced…  More info

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1982 (cask 2040) - 30th Anniversary Gift Box (Signatory)
$1,731.66

Brora 35 Year Old (2012 Special Release)

70cl, 48.1%
Brora

The oldest release to date of this rare single malt - this 35 year old Brora was bottled at 48.1%abv from re-fill ex-Bourbon casks. Only 1,586 bottles were produced of this excellent single malt in…  More info

Brora 35 Year Old (2012 Special Release)
$1,924.06

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1977 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 49.3%
Port Ellen

This is a very special bottling of Islay single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled back in 1977 at the legendary Port Ellen distillery and matured in a single cask for 35 years. It was then bottled…  More info

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1977 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$2,193.44

Carsebridge 35 Year Old 1982 (casks 74604) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)

70cl, 48.9%
Carsebridge

A wonderful 35 year old Carsebridge single grain Scotch whisky, distilled in December 1982. It was then aged in a single cask refill butt and bottled in July 2018 by Signatory for their Cask Strength…  More info

Carsebridge 35 Year Old 1982 (casks 74604) - Cask Strength Collection (Signatory)
$274.31

Banff 34 Year Old 1975 (Dansk Maltwhisky Akademi)

70cl, 44.1%
Banff

A rare single malt from Banff, distilled in 1975 - the distillery would sadly close in the early 1980s. The single malt was aged for 34 years before being bottled at 44.1% ABV by Dansk Maltwhisky…  More info

Banff 34 Year Old 1975 (Dansk Maltwhisky Akademi)
$768.53

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
$167.06
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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)
$1,093.97
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Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1979 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.8%
Port Ellen

A sublime single cask bottling from the revered Port Ellen Distillery. This 1979 vintage Islay single malt Scotch whisky was matured in a single refill sherry butt for 32 years before it was bottled…  More info

Port Ellen 32 Year Old 1979 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$1,533.76

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)
$265.56

St Magdalene 30 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 58.5%
St. Magdalene

A stunning single malt Scotch whisky from the legendary lost distillery St. Magdalene. This 30 year old single cask expression was matured in a refill sherry butt from 1982 to February 2013, then…  More info

St Magdalene 30 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$1,973.54

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1982 - Old and Rare (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 51.8%
Port Ellen

A marvellous and decidedly rare Port Ellen distilled in April 1982 and aged for a massive 30 years in a single refill hogshead before bottling in April 2012 for Douglas Laing's premium Old and Rare…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1982 - Old and Rare (Douglas Laing)
$1,533.76

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1982 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 53.1%
Port Ellen

Douglas Laing properly go for it with their Old and Rare Platinum range, picking only the most ridiculously desirable whiskies to join the impressive selection. Speaking of ridiculously desirable,…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1982 - Old and Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
2
$1,533.76

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1979 - Old Malt Cask Commemorative (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 55.6%
Port Ellen

A rare 30 year old bottling from the Douglas Laing 'Old Malt Cask' range. One of just 234 bottles. This bottle was part of a private collection - if you'd like more detailed photos just get in…  More info

Port Ellen 30 Year Old 1979 - Old Malt Cask Commemorative (Douglas Laing)
$1,423.81

Port Ellen 29 Year Old 1978 - 8th Release (2008 Special Release)

70cl, 55.3%
Port Ellen

From Diageo's 2008 Special Releases comes a 29 year old single malt from the legendary Port Ellen distillery, which was distilled in 1978. It was drawn from American and European oak casks and…  More info

Port Ellen 29 Year Old 1978 - 8th Release (2008 Special Release)
$1,649.20
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Pittyvaich 28 Year Old (Special Release 2018)

70cl, 52.1%
Pittyvaich

The Diageo Special Releases 2018 features a few surprises and treats, one of which is this single malt Scotch from Pittyvaich Distillery. Why is it so surprising? Well, the distillery was closed in…  More info

Pittyvaich 28 Year Old (Special Release 2018)
1
$357.32

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