St. Magdalene was a lowland distillery that closed in 1983. It was located in the town of Linlithgow, which lies between Edinburgh and Stirling (whisky distilled at St. Magdalene was occasionally also released under the name of 'Linlithgow'). Despite closing 25 years ago, the buildings still exist and have been sympathetically renovated into apartments. The distillery originally opened in 1795 and was one of Scotland's oldest until it's closure. It was regarded as having one of the most perfect locations in Scotland for both production and transportation links, being situated very close to some of the main barley growing areas, the main road to Edinburgh and the Union canal. The distillery took it's water from the canal and even had it's own railway station and goods sidings at one point. St. Magdalene and Linlithgow whiskies are now extremely rare and will eventually run out, and are highly sought after by drinkers and collectors alike. The majority of the remaining stock is owned by drinks giant, Diageo who occasionally release bottlings. The rest of the stock is held by independent bottling companies, such as this one which is released by Douglas Laing & Co. as part of their 'Old Malt Cask' range.
This one is aged 24 years and is very fresh on the nose. There is a lovely clean grassy note (imagine freshly cut grass) and some nuttiness (almonds, i think), vanilla and butterscotch. The palate is very refreshing with lots of fresh, juicy fruit (think of white grapes, crisp green apples and pears), sweet malted barley, that vanilla and grassiness from the nose and some honey and spices (imagine nutmeg or cinammon). The finish is light and short with the fruitiness and spices prominent. It is a very good and refreshing whisky, despite getting slightly bitter right at the end of the finish. A bottle will cost around £100 from specialist retailers only. Well worth trying before everything from this distillery finally disappears.