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St Magdalene

  • Pronunciation: saint MAG-da-lin
  • Founded: 1795 (potentially 1765)
  • Region: Lowlands
  • Closed: 1983
  • Status: Closed
  • Owner: Diageo
  • Production Capacity: N/A

The origins of St Magdalene and Linlithgow are shrouded in the fog of time. Originally known as Linlithgow, the distillery was located at Bonnytoun before being relocated in 1834, in order to gain access to the Union canal. Founded by Adam Dawson, before being taken over by his sons, it was then bought over by United Distillers who would later become Diageo. The distillery closed during the great whisky depression of the 1980s. It has since been converted into flats, although the iconic pagoda can still be seen.

Not many bottlings exist officially. There were four Rare Malt St Magdalene’s from 1970, 1971 and 1979. The 1979, a 19 year old has been widely regarded as a fantastic whisky – very hard to find and quickly becoming a trophy in anyone’s drinks cabinet.

A St Magdalene 1978 was bottled to mark 100 years of technical and engineering staff at Waterloo Street, Glasgow. Expect this to be one of the more expensive St Magdalenes available.

With the exception of a Linlithgow, bottled as part of the special release series distilled in 1973 and bottled as a 30 year old, there really are very few official releases. This means that the rest of the bottles you will see are independents, Old Malt Cask, Gordon and Macphail, Cadenheads, Berry Brothers and Ian McLeod's Dun Bheagan all have bottlings of St Magdalene.

All St Magdalene is drying up, as with many of the distilleries which closed in the 1980s. It is quickly increasing in value and becoming harder to find.

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