Morrayshire IV36 OEB
+44 1343 545 111
Owners: Gordon & MacPhail
Creation year: 1988
The distillery has been founded during the last years of the 19th century whisky-boom, in 1898 by Duncan MacCallum who was in those times the owner of Glen Nevis in Campbeltown, and by F.W. Brickmann, wine merchant in Leith. The opening of the distillery dates back to 1900, and its first closing to 1907 because of the bad business of Mr Brickmann. Between 1907 and 1910 the distillery was reopened by MacCallum alone, under the name Forres. The distillery recovered its first name, Balmenach, after World War I.
Balmenach distillery closed again during the 1930's. In those days, the distillery belonged successively to Joseph Hobbs (also owner of Ben Nevis) and Hattim Attari.
In 1938 the distillery was acquired by an investors concern, called Associated Scottish Distilleries, belonging to Train & McIntyre (who were part of the "National Distillers of America"). Later in 1953 the Associated Scottish Distilleries became part of DCL (which would become UDV later). Other distilleries belonging to the same concern like Glenury Royal, Glenesk and Glenlochy closed definitely during the 1980's. Benromach was closed too in 1983 and nearly entirely dismantled. The only part of the distillery which remained was the wash backs.
In 1992, Gordon & MacPhail acquired the empty buildings and the remaining stock from UDV. Those stocks made the reconstruction financially possible and the distillery reopened officially in 1998.
The long time (6 years) between the acquisition and the reopening was partially due to difficulties of Gordon & MacPhail to acquire the burn and the Benromach trade mark.