Scotland: Whisky & Distilleries
The origins of the Balblair distillery are supposed to be found in
1749. Balblair is the second oldest distillery in Scotland.
Settled in Ross-Shire, it was founded by John Ross who became first bankrupted in 1817 and the distillery remained in the family up to 1894, and it resuming at the end of World War II is due to Hug Ross.
The current distillery dates from 1872, when it was rebuild and enlarged near its original site, by Alexander Cowan, who purchased it from the grand son of John Ross.
The distillery has been closed from 1915 up to 1947.
All the warehouses but cellar 3 have beaten-earth floors . Cellar 3 has been used during the war by the British army, who built a concrete floor. It was used as an army kitchen and restaurant from 1940.
At the end of the war, the distillery has been acquired by a solicitor in Banff, Robert Cumming. This solicitor was also a refined business man, who liked drinking (sometimes too much) alcohol, One evening, after having drunk a lot, he bought the pub where he has been drinking all night long, and next day he had forgotten about it. But he took his responsibilities, and remained the owner of the pub.
Robert Cumming extended the distillery by adding a second still and two new washbacks Cumming was also owner of Pulteney.
When Cumming retired, he sold the distillery in 1970 to Hiram Walker and a third still has been added a few years later.
Hiram Walker's company has been absorbed by Allied Distillers. In 1996 the distillery was purchases by Inver House Distillers Ltd. The main part of the production is used for blends of the group like Inverhouse, Catton's, Hankey Bannister, MacArthur's, Glen Talloch and Pinwinnie Royal, and in the malt liquor called Heater Cream.
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