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Closed Distilleries

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Vendor: Signatory Vintage

Cambus 1991-2022 | 30 Year Old Signatory Vintage Cask 104230

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Vendor: P

Cambus 1983-2011 | 27 Year Old | Dead Whisky Society Single Cask 701513

£375.00
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Vendor: Signatory Vintage

Cambus 1991-2023 | 31 Year Old Signatory Vintage Cask 104229

£148.00
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(1 votes)
Vendor: Signatory Vintage

Port Dundas 1996-2022 | 25 Year Old Signatory Vintage Cask 128323

£122.00
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Vendor: The River Tweed Whisky Company

Dumbarton 2000-2021 | 20 Year Old Cooper's Choice Single Cask 211097

£105.00
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Vendor: P

Caledonian 1976-2011 | 34 Year Old | Dead Whisky Society Single Cask 900015

£500.00
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Vendor: Signatory Vintage

Port Dundas 2008-2023 | 14 Year Old Signatory Vintage Small Batch

£40.00
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(1 votes)
Vendor: Douglas Laing

Cambus 1982-2023 | 40 Year Old XOP Cask DL17181

£450.00
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Vendor: Dram Mor

Dumbarton 2000-2021 | 20 Year Old Dram Mor Cask 211894

£90.00
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Vendor: Maverick Drinks

Caperdonich 24 Year Old | Darkness

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glen Albyn 1976-2012 Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Lochside 1981-2015 | Rare Old

Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenesk 1980-2014 Rare Old

£900.00
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Vendor: Signatory Vintage

Port Dundas 1995-2023 | 28 Year Old Signatory Vintage Single Cask 64902

£125.00
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Vendor: Douglas Laing

Port Dundas 2004-2022 | 18 Year Old | Old Particular | Single Cask DL16483

£101.00
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Vendor: Douglas Laing

Dumbarton 2000-2022 | 21 Year Old | Old Particular | Single Cask DL15825

£115.00
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glen Mhor 1980-2011 Gordon & MacPhail

Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glenlochy 1979-2012 Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Lot RO/12/04

£1,000.00
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Vendor: Alistair Walker Whisky Company

Dumbarton 1997-2024 | 26 Year Old Infrequent Flyers Single Cask 174

£133.00
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glaswegian 29 Year Old Bottled 2019

£118.00
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Vendor: Signatory Vintage

North Port Brechin 1981-2018 | 36 Year Old | Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary

£1,240.00
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Glen Mhor 1965-2007 Gordon & MacPhail

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Vendor: Ian Macleod Distillers

Rosebank 31 Year Old Release 2 Bottled 2022

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Vendor: AM

Brora 35 Year Old Special Releases 2014

£2,400.00
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Vendor: Douglas Laing

Port Dundas 2006-2021 | 15 Year Old | Old Particular Cheers To Better Days

£81.00
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Vendor: Gordon & MacPhail

Dallas Dhu 1974-1999 | 25 Year Old Millennium Malt

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Closed Distilleries

Welcome to our Closed Distilleries collection! Here you’ll find a fantastic assemblage of classic single malt and single grain whiskies from distilleries that have closed their doors or been demolished in the last few decades. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as we shall see - with the whisky scene enjoying a prolonged boom since the millennium, some of these great lost names are now making a comeback to the whisky scene.

While nowadays it seems as if a new Scottish distillery springs up every time you turn around, in the relatively recent past things were very different. After a rush to modernisation and expansion in the 1960s and 1970s, the whisky industry came down to earth with a bump in the early 1980s.

The whisky scholar and historian Charles Maclean lists the 20th century’s distillery openings and closures in his excellent book, Whisky Tales. According to Maclean’s dates, between 1960-1980 sixteen new distilleries were constructed, including modern luminaries such as Glenallachie, Deanston, Mannochmore and the modern Clynelish distillery.

In the same period, only five distilleries closed: the legendary Malt Mill at Lagavulin and the short-lived Ladyburn, Killyloch, Kinclaith and Ben Wyvis, all four of which were experimental malt whisky distilleries within larger grain distillery complexes. 

The whisky from these distilleries was only ever intended for the blending vats and very little survived into the 1990s, making these drams extremely difficult to find - the best examples from independent bottlers like Signatory Vintage, Cadenhead’s and Gordon & MacPhail are now highly sought-after.

The subsequent two decades, however, were a shocking comedown for the industry, with a remarkable 23 distilleries closing their doors permanently in a prolonged cull between 1983 and 1994. No fewer than twenty-five malt whisky distilleries were terminated by Diageo forerunners Distillers Company Limited (DCL) and United Distillers (UD) between 1983-93, though some of these later reopened.

The casualty list included the most famous victims of the period, Port Ellen and Brora, which both closed in 1983; and Rosebank which was shuttered in 1993 after UD refused to cough up for a planned £2m upgrade to the distillery’s effluent works. 

Around a dozen well-known non-DCL distilleries also closed in the last twenty years of the 20th Century including the likes of Lochside, Glenugie, Imperial, Inverleven and Littlemill. The latter was built in 1772 and was Scotland’s oldest distillery at the time of its closure, but was shamefully destroyed by arsonists shortly after being sold to the housing developer Newstead Properties.

It wasn’t just malt whisky distilleries that closed in the 1980s, however. Several grain whisky distilleries were shuttered too, as DCL and the other industry players sought to keep costs down by choosing to enlarge and refit a small number of facilities instead of modernising all of them. The North of Scotland grain distillery was closed in 1980, while DCL/UDV shut down Carsebridge in 1983, Caledonian in 1988 and Cambus in 1993.

Between 1980 and 2000, just three malt whisky distilleries were opened: Kininvie, Speyside and Arran. But this doesn’t tell the full story, as many other existing distilleries had spent time in mothballs during the period only to reopen later under new ownership.

The most famous of these include Ardbeg, Bruichladdich, Glendronach, Bladnoch and Benromach, the latter two of which had been closed by Diageo or their predecessors DCL/UDV but were later revived under Gordon & MacPhail and Raymond Armstrong.  

Thankfully, the new millennium has been much kinder to the whisky industry so far. Caperdonich is the only malt whisky distillery to be permanently closed this century, alongside the Dumbarton and Port Dundas grain distilleries. Meanwhile, dozens of new distilleries have opened or are about to come online, which is obviously great news for consumers and for the industry in general. 

For old school whisky fans, however, the real joy is in the revival of some of the classic distilleries that were once thought lost for good. The revival of Bruichladdich by Murray McDavid and the extraordinary renaissance driven by Billy Walker at Benriach and Glendronach have been among the great feel-good whisky stories of this century. 

The biggest cheers, though, came in October 2017, when Diageo announced plans to restore the distilleries at Port Ellen and Brora, followed the next day by the revelation that Ian Macleod Distillers were doing the same at Rosebank. Brora was the first to return, with production recommencing in May 2021, followed by Rosebank in July 2023 and Port Ellen in March 2024. 

The reanimation of these legendary ghost distilleries is a beacon of hope for fans of old school single malt whiskies. Hopefully the lessons of the past have been learned to prevent more distillery culls in the future.


List of Distillery Closures 

Malt Mill (Islay) 1960

Killyloch (Lowland) 1975 - A single malt whisky made at the Moffat grain distillery 

Kinclaith (Lowland) 1975 - A single malt whisky made at the Strathclyde grain distillery

Ladyburn (Lowland) 1975 - A single malt whisky made at the Girvan grain distillery

Ben Wyvis (Highland) 1976 - A single malt whisky made at the Invergordon grain distillery


DCL / United Distillers Closures 

Banff (Speyside) 1983

Benromach (Speyside) 1983 - Reopened 1998 under Gordon & MacPhail 

Brora (Highland) 1983 - Reopened 2021

Carsebridge (Grain, Lowland) 1983

Dallas Dhu (Speyside) 1983

Glen Albyn (Highland) 1983

Glenlochy (Highland) 1983

Glen Mhor (Highland) 1983

Knockdhu / An Cnoc (Highland) 1983 - Reopened 1989 under Inver House

North Port / Brechin (Highland) 1983

Port Ellen (Islay) 1983 - Reopened 2024

St. Magdalene / Linlithgow (Lowland) 1983

Coleburn (Speyside) 1985

Convalmore (Speyside) 1985

Glendullan A (Speyside) 1985 - The original Glendullan distillery, which had been working in tandem alongside a second distillery built onsite in 1972

Glentauchers (Speyside) 1985 - Reopened 1992 under Allied Distillers

Glenury Royal (Highland) 1985

Hillside/Glenesk (Highland) 1985

Imperial (Speyside) 1985 - Reopened 1991 under Allied Distillers, closed permanently 1998

Linkwood A (Speyside) 1985 - The old Linkwood distillery, which had been working in tandem alongside a second distillery built onsite in 1971

Mannochmore (Speyside) 1985 - Reopened 1989

Millburn (Highland) 1985

Royal Brackla (Highland) 1985 - Reopened 1991, sold to Bacardi 1998

Teaninich 1984/5 - Teaninich had been expanded in 1970 with the construction of Teaninich A, a new stillhouse with six stills. The original distillery, renamed Teaninich B, was closed in 1984, while the new Teaninich A distillery was mothballed in 1985. Teaninch A reopened 1991; Teaninich B never reopened and was decommissioned in 1999

Caledonian (Grain, Lowland) 1988

Pittyvaich (Speyside) 1993

Rosebank (Lowland) 1993 - Reopened 2023 under Ian Macleod Distillers

Bladnoch (Lowland) 1993 - Reopened 2000 under Raymond Armstrong

Balmenach (Speyside) 1993 - Reopened 1998 under Inver House 

Cambus (Grain, Lowland) 1993

Port Dundas (Grain, Lowland) 2010


Non-DCL Closures 1980-Present (Please note this is only the permanent closures - a great many distilleries were temporarily mothballed or only in sporadic production during this period eg Ardbeg, Springbank, Bruichladdich)

Glencraig (Speyside) 1981 - A single malt whisky made on Lomond stills at Glenburgie

Mosstowie (Speyside) 1981 - A single malt whisky made on Lomond stills at Miltonduff

Glenugie (Highland) 1983

Glen Flagler (Lowland) 1985 - A single malt whisky made at Moffat grain distillery

Garnheath / Moffat (Grain, Lowland) 1986 

Inverleven (Lowland) 1991 - A single malt whisky made at the Dumbarton grain distillery

Lochside (Highland) 1992 - Grain whisky production had ceased in 1973

Littlemill (Lowland) 1994 - Production believed to have ceased 1992

Dumbarton (Grain, Lowland) 2000

Caperdonich (Speyside) 2002

Closed Whisky Distilleries