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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

St Magdalene aka Linlithgow

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Lowland Distillery 1798-1983

St Magdalene aka Linlithgow Distillery History

The St Magdalene Distillery stood on a historic site, in the 12th century a hospital was established by the Knights Templar to treat lepers. This was replaced at some point by the St Magdalene convent.


The first distillery in Linlithgow was Bulzon in 1750 this was followed shortly after by Bonnytourn founded by Andrew Dawson, one of the first recorded licensed distillers


Sebastian Henderson obtained land adjacent to the Bonnytourn distillery and built the St Magdalene distillery. Possibly 1765. At one point the village of Linlithgow had five licensed distilleries.


In 1798 Andrew Dawson purchased the St Magdalene distillery from Sebastian Henderson. Because St Magdalene was the better distillery he switched output from Bonnytourn to St Magdalene. Eventually absorbing Bonnytourn in to St Magdalene as one large site  


The distillery became a limited company in 1895


The Dawson family was involved with production at Saint Magdalene between 1798 until 1912 when it went into liquidation, when it was acquired by the DCL


Three years later in 1915 became one of the founding five distilleries of Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD). Along with Clydesdale, Glenkinchie Grange and Rosebank)


The distillery was refitted in 1927


The distillery like many others was closed in 1983 due to over production. The site was sold for residential development, some of the buildings converted into apartments


Sometimes known as ‘Linlithgow’ distillery.


St Magdalene Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings

St Magdalene 19 Year Old 1979 – Rare Malts Selection released 1998

St Magdalene 23 Year Old 1971 – Rare Malts Selection released 1995

Linlithgow 30 years old 1973 - 1500 bottles 59.6%  released 2004


St Magdalene Single Malt Scotch Whisky Independent Bottlings



Cask Strength (Duncan Taylor),

Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail),

Duncan Taylor Cask Strength,

Gordon & MacPhail Reserve

Hart Brothers,

Mission (Murray McDavid),

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),

Rare Old  (Gordon & MacPhail),

Scotts Selection (Speyside Distillers)


Un-Chill Filtered (Signatory).


St. Magdalene Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1982 40%

Rare & Old Gordon & MacPhail


Colour: Light tan.


Nose: Green fruits - apples, pears and grapes. Cereal and malty aromas, toasted bread - yeasty.

Palate: Spicy with oiled wood flavours. Some rich fruit and peppery notes.


With Water

Nose: Tropical fruits - mangos and melons. A sweet floral element some green leafy aromas.

Palate: Dry, slightly dusty - cereal and dry grass. A subtle fruit element.

Body: Light and delicate.

Finish: Dry and clean.

Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogsheads

Whisky Style: Classic Lowland style - an ideal aperitif.


Also Bottled under the Linlithgow Name

Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail),

Duncan Taylor Rarest of the rare,

Mission (Murray McDavid),

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),


Linlithgow Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1982 - 21year old  

Bottling by Duncan Taylor

Cask No: 2211.

Colour: Amber with gold highlights.

Nose: Vanilla and fruits mingling.

Flavour: Lemon grass & honey.

Finish: Crisp, dry and long. Hint of oak smoke.

St Magdalene Distillery Linlithgow,

West Lothian

EH49 6AQ


Closed Demolished


Now a residential area

St Magdalene Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes


Nose: Light grassy and aromatic.


Palate: Light to medium bodied. Creamy, oaky and malty.


Finish: Light floral and slightly peated.

Founded 1765? By Sebastian Henderson

Location Lowlands Central district Linlithgow

Water source Loch Lomond  

Last owners DCL

Now a residential area