Ladyburn Distillery (Closed distillery)
After William Grant & Sons Ltd. built a grain distillery at Girvan in 1963, they added another set of stills (pot stills this time) to the complex in 1966. With these stills they produced the 'Ladyburn' malt whisky. The main purpose of both of the distilleries was production of whisky for the Grant's blends, but over the years a handful of 'official' single malt whiskies were bottled as well.
The malt whisky distillery was located in a corner of the Girvan grain whisky distillery. The malt whisky installation was closed again in 1975 and demolished in 1976, but the (single) grain whisky from Girvan is still sold today under the name Black Barrel. This makes Ladyburn (possibly) the malt whisky distillery with the shortest history in all Scotland; it was operational for less than a decade.
The short production history is one of the reasons that Ladyburn is mostly of interest for malt whisky collectors. That being said, most of the expressions We've tried so far all scored well in the 80's. Many 'high profile' distilleries can't boast about results like these, so it would seem that Ladyburn is one of the few obscure distilleries that actually produced malt whiskies that were worth hunting down. However, bottlings are just so rare that you'll probably never find more than a dozen different expressions.
Some of those bottlings were not even bottled under the name 'Ladyburn', but under the name 'Ayrshire' - the name of the area where the 'Girvan' distillery is located. Based on our experience so far it would seem that the bottlers Signatory Vintage and Wilson and Morgan both used this 'pseudonym' for Ladyburn.
I've sampled one expression by Italian bottler Wilson & Morgan that was released as 'Ayrshire' (this was actually my personal favourite with a score of 89 points), while Signatory Vintage releases its bottlings of Ladyburn under the 'Ayrshire' name as well.