Last Drops

Back in the ’70s and then again in the ’90s whisky was in a bad way, the Single Malt market hadn’t really blossomed and their stock was mostly going into blends. A tragic number of now near legendary distilleries were lost, closing their doors, or worse being completely demolished to make way for flats. Fast forward to today and these bottles are disappearing from the whisky fairs, being priced out of the hands of mere bottle drinkers such as ourselves.

We’ve pulled together a list of some of the last bottles available at retail, these bottles are disappearing from the shelves but not from our hearts. Short of an auction site we may well not see their likes again.

Banff 1974 /1992 Connoisseurs Choice

0 out of 5

0 reviews

A 1974 vintage whisky from the closed and since demolished Banff whisky distillery, bottled in 1974 by Gordon & Macphail for their Connoissseurs Choice range. Historically one of the more overlooked gems of the lost distilleries range, Banff due to its use for blending didn't really get the chance to adopt a following until the rare malts range. Sadly these are all now like gold dust but the Connoissseurs Choice survives, for now. Fruity, smoky tropical mango and pineapple, augmented by tender, classic peat notes, the oak rounds this one off nicely here. Sweet, spicy, and wonderfully full, beautiful smoke, Toffifee, hazelnuts and crumbly biscuit fade away leaving a lingering taste of strawberry jam and very lightly toasted almonds. Nowhere near as short as you'd expect at 40%.

Our best price:

£

Buy Now
Learn More

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

|

5 out of 5

1 reviews

Distilled in 1979 and bottled 37 years later in 2017, bottled at cask strength and limited to only 2988 bottles. Port Ellen is the lost jewel in the Islay crown. Closure in 1983 has enabled this distillery to receive a near mythical amount of love and respect. While it's coming back one day the only connection between the two is the name and a few bricks. The refill American Oak hogsheads and butts filled in 1979 have crafted a whisky of exquisite balance and subtlety. The signature smokey sweetness is here in spades, alongside sugared soft fruits and grassy notes. Big and chewy, herbaceous and oaky. The watchword for this whisky is subtlty, it's so incredibly well integrated. Given the price more than a few of these are going to sit unopened on shelves. It's enough to make a grown man cry.

Our best price:

£2939.93

Buy Now
Learn More

Dumbarton 1986 32 Year Old Xtra Old Particular Single Whisky

|

0 out of 5

0 reviews

Dumbarton was a huge grain distillery built in Dunbartonshire in the 1930s. At the time it was the biggest in Scotland, and also housed the Inverleven and Lomond malt distilleries. The distillery leveraged huge American-style stainless steel columns rather than the traditional Coffey stills used by most Scottish grain distilleries. TThe distillery exclusively used maize resulting in a much heavier character. Sadly most of this distilleries output was reservered for the Ballantine’s blend whisky and seldom bottled as a single grain. As the distillery was shut down and later demolished back in 2002 there's very little liquid left from Dumbarton, but what there is WOW. The nose is full of squeezed summer fruits, Caribbean spices, sugar and floury grist, followed by a mouthcoating palate of gingery, vanilla, coffee and toasted oats and just the slightest hint of cocoa. The finish is delicate but long leaving a lingering taste of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and the slightest hint of coffee. Amazing

Our best price:

£270

Buy Now
Learn More

Port Ellen 1982 25 Year Old Signatory

4 out of 5

1 reviews

What needs to be said about the legendary Port Ellen distillery, there's a reason the prices climbed this high. This signatory bottling is not the heavy heavy hights of the 37 year old special releases but it's a great showcase of a distillery that's long gone, sweet with only a hint of the famous smoke, a little alcohol burn but that's to be expected at 60%. Sadly at the price tag this one may well be destined to sit on a shelf This distillery will rise again, but as anyone who's ever been can tell you the bricks are about all the two sites will have in common. Will Diagio manage to rekindle the magic of these Port Ellen single cask releases from Signatory? That's a question that will take 28 years to answer, and this will be long gone by then. From a refill Butt.

Our best price:

£

Buy Now
Learn More

Dallas Dhu 1980 22 Year Old Ian MacLeod

|

0 out of 5

0 reviews

A cask strength Dallas Dhu! These things are rather like gold dust hence the price tag! Distilled in 1980 by the sadly now lost Dallas Dhu distillery, it has been matured in a single sherry hogshead for 22 years, before being bottled in November 2003 for indie bottler Ian MacLeod's Chieftan's Choice series. Cask #2104 was a Sherry Hogshead and yet the bottle is decidedly not a sherry bomb! You've got the usual christmas cake, sherry soaked sultanas, cinnamon and allspice notes you'd expect but also a pineapple, citrus and chocolate notes. The rosewater nose is intriguing, the palate is bizarre but brilliant and the finish is slow and ligering.

Our best price:

£450

Buy Now
Learn More

Willowbank 17 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company) Blended Whisky

|

4.5 out of 5

2 reviews

Willowbank or the Wilson Distillery was located in Dunedin, New Zealand. Founded in 1974 by the Baker family, it was known for the Lammerlaw whiskies (a Seagrams brand) and the Milford single malt. Sadly in 1997 it was demolished, the stills sold off for rum production and the remaining stocks of 3-400 casks are now owned by The New Zealand Whisky Company. In this case they released it to That Boutique-y Whisky Company.Rather than a single malt this one is a 'single blend', a mix of malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still at the same distillery. This was one of a series of casks reracked into French Oak New Zealand wine barrels. It's unlike anything we've ever tried before and odds are this one won't be around for much longer. The wine influence is punchy creating an almost sherry like flavour palate, subtle sourness, moist tobacco and prominant tannins. This won't be the very last of the WillowBank to hit the market but it will be one of only a few more. Try it while you can.

Our best price:

£143.95

Buy Now
Learn More

Rosebank 1981 /1997 Flora & Fauna

|

0 out of 5

0 reviews

For those who've never tried the modern Flora and Fauna range you should absolutely go explore it. There are so many undiscovered gems in the mix that we ended up debating 4 different editions in our top 10 underrated whisky round up. This was then, as it is now, the Diagio tool for showcasing its unloved workhorse distilleries. Once upon a time Rosebank was one of these, another one that found an audience and attained legendary status only after it closed its doors for the last time. There are plans to revive the name and site but for all intents and purposes it will be a new distillery. A tragically rare and increasingly hard to official expression from this lowland Scottish distillery. A victim of the early 1990s downturn in the whisky market Rosebankl was famous for some of the most beautiful and delicate whiskies and this is a classic example of why; on the nose a seductively aroma of clover, camomile and fresh citrus. On the palate it's sily smooth and very creamy, lemony and floral with a faintly smokey note. Fantastic

Our best price:

£1350

Buy Now
Learn More

Cambus 1991 26 Year Old Signatory Single Grain Scotch Whisky

|

0 out of 5

0 reviews

Cambus is the second grain distillery in this mix and arguably the best of those to close their doors. The site is now the home of Diagio's cooperage (where they recharr and rebuild barrels from Europe and America). The distillery is equally famous for it's creamy sweetness, rosewater nose and wood spice. On the nose this one is butterscotch, strawberry and vanilla, a second wave of pepper and red chili reveals itself. On the palate we've got oodles of toffee, vanilla custard, nougat, green apples and Muscovado sugar. The finish is long and tantilising, spicy, and full of gentle oak, and where the Sherry but really comes to shine. Marvelous stuff that's only going up in price.

Our best price:

£110.95

Buy Now
Learn More

Imperial 1970 17 Year Old Connoisseurs Choice

|

0 out of 5

0 reviews

Imperial distillery was a victim of far to many whisky crashes and spent only a fraction of its life completely operational, when it did produce, as was all to often the story, the bulk of its output went into blends. Only one official bottling was ever released. The distillery was demolished in 2013 to make way for the new Dalmunach distillery. Always a popular offering at auction and whisky fairs the Imperial distillery acquired its fanbase far to late to save the distillery but now these editions are snapped up at absurd prices. This one was distilled during one of the more stable periods of this unfortunate stop/start distillery. Bottled at only 40% this one is particularly smooth and mellow even by the distilleries standard. We had a chance to try this beauty at the Limburg show last year, and in a blind tasting you could have told us it was a grain whisky it was so light. You’ll get vanilla, toffee and caramel, sweet sherbert lemon, powder doughnuts and lemon rind but let it stand for at least 10 minutes and you'll get waves of papaya bursting through the ripe pear and malty cereal. Rich, sweet and fruity on the palate. Liquorice. Pinches of pepper on the tropical fruit finish.

Our best price:

£450

Buy Now
Learn More

Pittyvaich 1989 25 Year Old Special Releases 2015

|

5 out of 5

1 reviews

Pittyvaich is one of those distilleries that Diagio occasionally trots out among their special releases and is almost universally overcast by a shiny new Brora or something equally rare, a true tragedy as Pittyvaich is everything a Speysider should be. The distillery itself was only open from 1974 to 1993 and most of its production went into blends. In this case it was part of Diageo's Special Releases 2015. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads and ex-bourbon barrels. Full of nutty cereal and almond notes, with tropical mango and lemon tart, Madeira wine with white and dark chocolate... Very moreish, and soon gone forever. A beautiful tragedy.

Our best price:

£265

Buy Now
Learn More