Scotland and Scotch whisky: Speyside  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes

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Tamnavulin


Tamnavulin Distillery
Ballindaloch
Banffshire AB37 9JA
+44 1807 590 285

Owner: Whyte & MacKay Ltd

Creation year: 1966


Tamnavulin is the only distillery to be situated on the river Livet, even if the latter has given its name to lots of distilleries in that production area. 
Recently created, Tamnavulin has produced its own malt with a "Saladin box" until its mothballing in 1996. 
The buildings have partially been used for wool carding.
It has been created in 1966 by Invergordon and acquired later by Whyte and Mackay.
Since 1996 the distillery is mothballed.
Tamnavulin is part of many blends, amongst others, the Mackinlay blends
The distillery resumed production in 2007 after the acquisition of Whyte and MacKay by the Indian United Breweries Group




Tamdhu

 


Tamdhu Distillery
Knockando, Aberlour
Banffshire AB38 7RP
+44 1340 872200

Owner: Ian MacLeod

Creation year: 1897


The Tamdhu distillery has been created in 1896-97 by a blenders group, but became 2 years later part of the Highland Distillers & Co, who still are the owners nowadays.
The distillery has been closed from 1911 to 1913, then from 1927 till 1948 and its production capacity has been doubled in 1972.
During the time it was closed, the distillery has been used as warehouse for Glenrothes distillery.
In 1975 the number of stills grew to 6. The Tamdhu distillery produces its own malt, using a Saladin box.
The major part of the production is used in the blends Famous Grouse, J&B and Cutty Sark.
The distillery has been mothballed for a few years till it was acquired by Ian MacLeod in June 2011. Production should resume in early 2012.




Strathmill


Strathmill Distillery
Keith,
Banffshire
AB55 5DQ
+44 1542 882 295

Owner: Diageo

Creation year: 1891


The Strathmill distillery has been founded during the whisky-boom at the end of the 19th century under the name Glenisla-Glenlivet Distillery. 
It has been taken over in 1894 by the W&A Gilbey company (who were also owners of Glen Spey and Knockando).
This distillery, result of the alteration of an old mill, doubled its production capacity in 1969.
The production is not marketed as single malt, and therefore the only available bottlings are those of independent bottlers.




Strathisla


Strathisla Distillery
Keith,
Banffshire AB55 3BS
+44 1542 783 044

Owner: Pernod-Ricard

Creation year: 1786


The Strathisla distillery was founded by George Taylor and Alexander Milne under the name of Milltown Distillery in 1786.
The distillery was acquired in 1828 by William Lonmore, after having been the property of McDonalds, Ingram & Co.
A fire destroyed it in 1879.
Between 1870 and 1890, the distillery was temporarily called Strathisla, but it has been renamed Milton.
Its definitive "Strathisla" name dates from 1949, when it was taken over by James Barclay, from the Chivas Brothers group, which in 1949 was part of Seagrams, owned by Sam Bronfman.
Chivas Brothers came into being in 1858 as a provisions shop in King Street, Aberdeen, founded by brothers James and John Chivas from Overtown of Dudwick in Ellon, Aberdeenshire.
The distillery doubled its production capacity in 1965.
Strathisla is one of the most picturesque distilleries from Scotland.
On 15 June 1993, an unexpected visitor arrived from Louisville, Kentucky: a black and white cat who fell asleep between some bourbon casks traveling to Scotland. When the container was opened 4 weeks later, the cat came out, weaken by hunger and drunken by the hints of bourbon in the container. People at the distillery adopted it after the legal quarantine, and named it Dizzy. The cat got the job of mice hunter.
The distilleries from "The Chivas and Glenlivet Group", belonging to Seagram were acquired by the French group "Pernod-Ricard" on 19 December 2001.
The main part of the single malt is used in the blends Chivas Regal and Royal Salute.




Speyside


Speyside Distillery
Glen Tromie, Kingussie
Inverness-shire PH21 1NS
+44 1540 661 060

Owner: Speyside Distillery Co Ltd

Creation year: 1990


Malgré son nom évocateur, cette distillerie n'est pas considérée par tous les spécialistes comme étant située géographiquement dans la région de Speyside... Cependant, la rivière Spey coule derrière la distillerie. La distillerie Speyside est la plus proche de la source de la rivière Spey, et à ce titre elle mérite pleinement l'appellation Speyside. 
Cependant, même si son emplacement géographique ne fait pas partie de la traditionnelle région "Speyside", la distillerie est la plus proche de la source de la rivière Spey (la rivière Tromie), et on a même une jolie vue sur la rivière Spey depuis la distillerie. 
George Christie créa en 1955 la firme d’assemblages Speyside Distillery and Bonding. L’année suivante, il acheta le terrain nommé “Old Milton Estate” à Glen Tromie, sur lequel se trouvait le village Drumguish ainsi que le moulin à eau qui avait fourni la farine au village jusqu’en 1949. Ce moulin, datant de 1710 est actuellement utilisé pour abriter les bureaux du directeur de la distillerie. 
Pour assurer une qualité constante à leurs assemblages, la famille Christie décida de créer leur propre distillerie de malt dans un bâtiment qui se trouvait sur leur propriété et qui avait été entièrement bâti par Alex Fairly seul, et qui mit plus de 25 ans à terminer la construction. La technique utilisée dite "dry-stone dyking method" demande énormément d'efforts, mais le résultat est un beau bâtiment traditionnel. 
Environ 20% de la production est vendu sous forme de single malt sous le nom de Drumguish, et le reste était soit conservé pour vieillissement ou sert aux assemblages Speyside et le vatted malt Glentromie. De nos jours, la distillerie a cessé de produire des blends, et les 80% de la production qui restent servent au Speyside Single Malt qui a d'abord été commercialisé à 10 ans, mais n'est plus disponible que dans sa version 12 ans à l'heure actuelle.
Les approvisionnements et les embouteillages de l'embouteilleur indépendant "Scott's selection" font également partie des occupations de la distillerie. 




Speyburn


Speyburn Distillery
Rothes
Morayshire IV33 7AG
+44 1340 831 213

Oener: Inver House Distillers Ltd

Creation year: 1897


Speyburn has been founded by John Hopkins & Co during the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria, in 1897.
Settled in a wonderful valley, close to Rothes, Speyburn has been purchased in 1916 by D.C.L. (Distillers Company Ltd) which would become later UDV.
Like most of the other distilleries, Speyburn closed during the two world wars.
The distillery has been innovative from a technologic point of view. In the beginning of the 20th century, Speyburn was the first to recycle the pot ale (distillation residues). Later it was the first to use malting drums, which stopped working in 1968.
Speyburn became property of Inver House in 1991..
Speyburn is amongst others used in the Glen Talloch blend. 




Pittyvaich


Pittyvaich Distillery
Dufftown ABB55 4BR
Banffshire
+44 1340 820 561

Owner: Diageo

Creation year: 1975


Recently created (the distillery dates back to 1975), Pittyvaich has had a very short life. Its owner decided to close the distillery as soon as 1993, and there is little hope it well open ever again.
The distillery has been created by Bells.
Pittivaich was producing whisky thanks to a high-tech infrastructure, and its production was exclusively used in the blends of the U.D.V. group.
Single malt versions are available in the Fauna & Flora collection, and at independent bottlers.
The distillery which was situated in Dufftown is currently completely dismantled and does not exist anymore. 




Mosstowie


Miltonduff Distillery
Miltonduff, Elgin
Morayshire IV30 3TQ
+44 1343 547 433

Propriétaire: Pernod-Ricard

Année de création: 1824


The distillery is situated on the site of the old Pluscarden abbey who owned a brewery and probably a distillery too as soon as in the 13th century. The recent history of the distillery is not very good known, but is seems that Miltonduff has been founded in 1824 by Bain and Peary, and sold to William Stuart, in those days co-owner of the Highland Park distillery.
The end of the 19th century is characterized by a boom followed by a severe recession in the world of whisky, and Miltonduff did not escape to the movement. Important alteration works have been conducted and a new mash-house and still house have been build in 1896.
The consequences of the recession are not well known, and it is difficult to be sure if the distillery had to close down. Anyway it has been purchased in 1936 by Hiram Walker and is currently part of the Allied Distillers Ltd group. The distillery has been acquired together with Glenburgie.
The new owner made some alteration works, and installed two Lomond Stills in 1964 in addition to the existing stills. This Lomond stills have been used up to 1981 and produces the Mosstowie whisky.
A little part of the production is marketed as single malt by the Elgin's independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail. 50% is sold to blenders, and the remaining part is used in the blends of the group: Ballantine's, Teachers and Old Smuggler.




Mortlach


Mortlach Distillery
Dufftow
Banffshire AB55 4
+44 1340 820 318

Owner: Diageo

Creation date: 1823


Amongst the nine distilleries around Dufftown, Mortlach is the oldest one. The second is Glenfiddich, founded by William Grant who was production manager at Mortlach.
The distillery has been created by James Findlater and two of his friends, Donald McIntosh and Alexander Gordon on a ground hired from the earl of Mactuff. The creation date is not known for sure, but the licence has been officially delivered in 1823.
The distillery has been taken over by John Gordon who marketed its whisky under the name "The real John Gordon".
John Gordon has also the idea to put 20 cows on the surrounding grounds, in order to clear its stock of distillery waist.
In 1853, John Gordon took George Cowie as a partner. Cowie became the only owner when John died in 1867.
George Cowie held also some sheep in a farm in the surroundings. This was not unusual as this was the way the distillery owners could have some incomes during the summer, where the distilleries do not work full time, because of a lack of water.
His son, Alexander Mitchell Cowie built a railway from the distillery to the Dufftown station.
Alexander's only son died during the war in 1917 and the distillery has been sold to John Walker & co. Walker joined DCL which become soon SMD before being integrated within UDV.
A new distillery has been build in 1964, but the old stills were used.
The malting floors were suppressed in 1968, and since the late 1990's, the process is computer aided. 




Miltonduff


Miltonduff Distillery
Miltonduff, Elgin
Morayshire IV30 3TQ
+44 1343 547 433

Propriétaire: Pernod-Ricard

Année de création: 1824


The distillery is situated on the site of the old Pluscarden abbey who owned a brewery and probably a distillery too as soon as in the 13th century. The recent history of the distillery is not very good known, but is seems that Miltonduff has been founded in 1824 by Bain and Peary, and sold to William Stuart, in those days co-owner of the Highland Park distillery.
The end of the 19th century is characterized by a boom followed by a severe recession in the world of whisky, and Miltonduff did not escape to the movement. Important alteration works have been conducted and a new mash-house and still house have been build in 1896.
The consequences of the recession are not well known, and it is difficult to be sure if the distillery had to close down. Anyway it has been purchased in 1936 by Hiram Walker and is currently part of the Allied Distillers Ltd group. The distillery has been acquired together with Glenburgie.
The new owner made some alteration works, and installed two Lomond Stills in 1964 in addition to the existing stills. This Lomond stills have been used up to 1981 and produces the Mosstowie whisky.
A little part of the production is marketed as single malt by the Elgin's independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail. 50% is sold to blenders, and the remaining part is used in the blends of the group: Ballantine's, Teachers and Old Smuggler.




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