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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...

Garnheath 44 Year Old 1974 (cask 12779) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 47.8%
Garnheath

Single grain from the sadly closed Garnheath distillery, independently bottled by Douglas Laing for the Xtra Old Particular range. This one was distilled in February 1974 and aged in a refill barrel…  More info

Garnheath 44 Year Old 1974 (cask 12779) - Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)
$328.87

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)
$328.21

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
$4,110.89

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)
$1,750.44

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
$2,546.10

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
$6,352.52

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)
$1,352.62

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1983 (cask 13101) - Xtra Old Patricular (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.3%
Port Ellen

An astonishing bottling from Douglas Laing's Xtra Old Particular range - this is a well-sherried 35 year old single malt produced at Islay's long-closed Port Ellen distillery! It was aged in a single…  More info

Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1983 (cask 13101) - Xtra Old Patricular (Douglas Laing)
$1,798.18

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3232) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)

70cl, 51.1%
Glenlochy

A 35 year old Glenlochy single malt, aged in a single hogshead cask (#3232) from November 1980 to December 2015. Not much of this around these days, as the distillery was closed back in 1983. 218…  More info

Glenlochy 35 Year Old 1980 (cask 3232) - Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve (Signatory)
$1,273.05

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)
$1,904.27

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)
$264.68

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)
$635.47

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
$161.19
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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)
$1,373.84

Glen Albyn 32 Year Old 1970 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 50%
Glen Albyn

A very old bottling of Glen Albyn, distilled in 1970. That's the same year The Beatles broke up, but at least one good thing came from that year - this whisky! It was matured for 32 long years…  More info

Glen Albyn 32 Year Old 1970 - Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)
$795.66

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
$1,373.84

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)
$1,273.05

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)
$1,373.84

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)
$1,904.27

Glenury Royal 29 Year Old 1970 - Rare Malts

70cl, 57%
Glenury

A fantastic Rare Malts bottling of Glenury Royal single malt Scotch whisky, from the sadly closed and demolished Glenury distillery in Stonehaven. This release was distilled in 1970 and bottled at…  More info

Glenury Royal 29 Year Old 1970 - Rare Malts
$949.48

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
$344.78

Rosebank 28 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 49.2%
Rosebank

This is the second batch of very exciting Rosebank single malt Scotch whisky to bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company, matured for 28 years before being bottled. Rosebank closed in the early…  More info

Rosebank 28 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
$1,229.50
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Port Ellen 28 Year Old 1979 - 7th Release (2007 Special Release)

70cl, 53.7%
Port Ellen

This is the 7th annual release from the legendary Port Ellen, unveiled as part of Diageo's 2007 Special Releases. It's a limited edition bottling that was distilled in 1979 and matured for 28 years…  More info

Port Ellen 28 Year Old 1979 - 7th Release (2007 Special Release)
$2,068.71
$1,856.53

Port Ellen 28 Year Old 1983 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)

70cl, 54.6%
Port Ellen

As Port Ellen distillery closed its doors and quieted its stills in 1983, demand for its whiskies has been incredibly high for many years. This bottling from Douglas Laing's Old & Rare Platinum range…  More info

Port Ellen 28 Year Old 1983 - Old & Rare Platinum (Douglas Laing)
$1,267.74

Linlithgow 28 Year Old 1975 (cask 96/3/37) - Signatory

70cl, 48.1%
St. Magdalene

A Signatory bottling of Linlithgow single malt Scotch whisky (you may know the closed Linlithgow under its other name - St. Magdalene). This one was distilled in 1975 and bottled 28 years later in…  More info

Linlithgow 28 Year Old 1975 (cask 96/3/37) - Signatory
$742.56

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