Hillside 1970 25 Years Old Single Highland Malt by Rare Malts

Hillside 1970 25 Years Old Single Highland Malt by Rare Malts

$1,750 AUD

60.1% 70 cl

This was bottled at natural cask strength as part of the Rare Malts Limited Edition series. It also comes from the period when the distillery, subsequently to become Glenesk, operated as Hillside (1964 – 1980). An increasingly rare bottling from a much under-rated distillery.

Tasting Notes

Nose: malty and quite grassy. There’s some honey and grapes but they seem to be burried in the alcohol. Some solventy notes. Terpentine. With some water: better, more grape and some peach. Mouth: again rather strong on alcohol. Quite oaky, herbal and spicy (pepper). After a few moments, there is a wonderful wave of smoke, mixed with dark caramel. Water doesn’t add much, but it accentuates the smoke. Finish: slowly fading smoke. Rather sweet and fruity aftertaste, with the oak getting drier in the end. (WhiskyNotes).

This product is located in the United Kingdom.


Hillside/Glenesk Distillery

This ghost had so many name changes and variations in function, that its true identity is quite hard to define. It started off in 1897 as Highland Esk. Within two years it was renamed, with a change in owner, to North Esk. It was closed during World War I, only to catch fire in 1919, after which its sole function was as a maltings. In 1939 it re-opens as a grain distillery and is renamed Montrose, after the nearby town of that name, only quickly to close again for the period of World War II when it was used to billet troops. Through various ownership changes it finally falls into the hands of DCL in 1953 with their acquisition of Associated Scottish Distilleries. Grain whisky production ceases shortly thereafter only to start up again in 1959. It is converted back to malt whisky distilling in 1964 and enjoys another name change to Hillside. However, this lasts only until 1980 when it becomes Glenesk, before finally closing in 1985.  Phew!


In parallel with all this the maltings had a much more stable existence with the original floor maltings being replaced by drum maltings in 1968, with a further expansion in 1976 so that they could serve a number of DCL’s distilleries in the region.


Despite all this the whisky enjoyed a good reputation and a number of official expressions were released particularly in the “Rare Malts” series. Gordon & MacPhail also did a number of bottlings. Some of both are offered here under the last two names used by the distillery.