Located on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres lies Benromach Distillery. From a small and almost lost distillery emerged a single malt with distinctive qualities reflecting its hand made credentials as well as encapsulating the self-reliance, sophistication and modern values of Scotland today.
We invite you to discover the secret of Benromach. On your visit, you can see the mash tun, and the burnished copper stills, and witness our experienced distillers create the unique qualities of Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Visit the traditional dunnage warehouse and see the cask signed by HRH The Prince of Wales and learn more about the world’s first fully certified organic single malt.
Relax in our welcoming visitor centre, and watch a DVD providing an insight into Benromach Distillery and the history of its owners Gordon & MacPhail.
Enjoy a personal tour with a friendly guide or from the man behind the malt’, Distillery Manager, Keith Cruickshank. Experience a tutored tasting, wander through our museum or exclusively hand fill your own unique bottle of Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
To commemorate your visit, view the full range of expressions available in the Benromach portfolio and browse an exclusive selection of clothing and merchandise, all available to purchase at the Malt Whisky Centre Shop.
In 1811 John and Helen Cumming took a 19 year lease on Cardow farm, in the parish of Knockando. Its remote location favoured clandestine production and in 1816 John Cumming was convicted on three occasions for malting and distilling “privately” without a licence. Interestingly and according to family and local tradition, these activities were carried out by his wife Helen. In 1824 John, along with other more experienced distillers, took out a licence under the new Excise Act.
Following John’s death, his son Lewis took over the lease and he concentrated his attention on making a superior whisky, rather than on expanding production like so many distillers of the time. Late in life Lewis married a local girl, Elizabeth Robertson, who carried on the pioneering work of her mother-in-law following Lewis’s death in 1872. In 1884 Elizabeth secured a perpetual lease of four acres of ground, close by the farm, on which she built a new Cardow Distillery. Coming on stream the following year, the new distillery tripled output of the much sought after Cardhu single malt whisky. In 1893, following advances by several would-be purchasers, Elizabeth eventually sold the distillery to John Walker & Sons, Kilmarnock.
We look forward to welcoming you to Cardhu where you can enjoy a guided tour of this long established distillery and taste the superb Cardhu 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky or the sought after Cardhu Special Cask Reserve.
Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery was the idea of an entrepreneur named Alexander Edward. In 1898, he built two new distilleries on land outside Forres – Benromach and Dallasmore. Both were in response to the demand for malt whisky for blending.
Before Dallasmore went into production in 1899, Edward sold the distillery to the Glasgow blending firm of Wright & Greig Ltd. They wanted the distillery to ensure a supply of malt for their popular blend, Roderick Dhu. To emphasise the link, they changed the distillery’s name to Dallas Dhu.
A chequered history Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery produced whisky from 1899 to 1983. The first barrel was filled on 3 June 1899, and the last on 16 March 1983. In the intervening years, it had a chequered existence. During the First World War it was closed. After the War, Wright & Greig sold it to J. P. O’Brien & Co Ltd of Glasgow, but they went into liquidation in 1921, and Dallas Dhu was sold to Benmore Distillery.
The new owners invested heavily in developments to the site, including a new railway siding. But the Great Depression forced closure in the early 1930s. Soon after reopening production, the distillery was badly damaged by fire, on 9 April 1939. Production began again in 1947, but was finally closed in 1983, largely because of a water shortage caused by prolonged drought.
A local concern The distillery employed a manager, a brewer, and a number of other staff – around 15 men in all. These were divided up into different groups, each headed by a lead man. Workers included the maltman, the mashman, the stillman, the warehouseman and the cooper. The men were expected to turn their hand to anything from unloading barley and shovelling peat to rolling out the barrels.
The exception was the exciseman. He was employed by Customs and Excise and not the distillery, although the latter had to provide him with a house and office!
William Grant, the founder of Glenfiddich, was born in 1839 in Dufftown. His dream was to build his own distillery and create the best dram in the valley.
The Grant family built The Glenfiddich Distillery with their own hands - the only help they asked for was that of a single stonemason. It took them almost 18 months and the first spirit flowed from the stills on Christmas Day 1887.
Through skill, hard work and determination, the single malt Scotch whisky created by the family turned out to be truly exceptional. The crystal clear water of the Robbie Dhu Springs, the barley, the pure Highland air and the unusually small size of the stills, produced a single malt Scotch whisky which, as William Grant hoped, could not be bettered.
Five generations later, William Grant and Sons Ltd is one of the very few Scotch whisky companies to remain in the hands of the family who founded it. Today, Glenfiddich is made in the same place and in the same way, using the dedicated skills of its own coppersmith and coopers, and still uses the same water source throughout production.
Glenfiddich has grown to become the world’s favourite single malt Scotch whisky - found in homes and bars throughout the world.
William Grant would have been very proud.
Since 1840, our passion for clarity and the unconventional has underpinned everything we do. From the maverick style of the Grant brothers who founded Glen Grant, to the design of our distillery and its surroundings, to our whisky’s clean, contemporary flavour.
Even our name stands apart amongst Scotch Whisky distilleries for being the only one that bears the name of its founding owners.
Clearly distinctive. That’s Glen Grant.
Whisky as it should be The fresh air, bright sunlight and sparkling streams of Scotland’s Highlands not only give our whisky its distinctive, pale golden appearance, but also a clean taste that has seen it win friends around the world.
We make our single malt whisky simply and we believe it’s best enjoyed simply. Without long-winded descriptions, complicated formalities or years of waiting.
Purely and simply, whisky as it should be.
From the wild and remote setting of Glenlivet comes a single malt of infinite elegance. Let us share tales of illicit stills, whisky smugglers, proud whisky men and of course, sample a dram of the greatest whisky of all – The Glenlivet.
A warm welcome awaits you at Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin. Glen Moray has been distilled on the banks of the River Lossie since 1897 by a small dedicated team of craftsmen. In over a century of distilling at Glen Moray, much has changed.
However, the ingredients, processes and the skills of those responsible for producing this finest quality single malt whisky remain constant.
A small, friendly and informal distillery, Glen Moray is situated in the city of Elgin, the historic capital of Speyside. The area around Elgin is known as the Laich of Moray and has a mild climate. Indeed, an old Moray saying proclaims that the Laich of Moray has forty days more summer than any other part of Scotland – making Glen Moray one of the sunniest distilleries in Speyside. Built originally as a brewery in the classic, square layout of a Scottish Farm, Glen Moray has a courtyard, surrounded by traditional, low-roofed warehouses.
How to get there Glen Moray Distillery is situated approximately 35 miles east of Inverness on the western outskirts of Elgin just off the A96.
From Inverness, as you arrive in Elgin cross the river Lossie then turn right off the A96 into Wittet Drive and follow the signs to the distillery.
Coaches by appointment only.
In the heart of Scotland’s rolling hills lies Speyside Cooperage, the only working cooperage in the UK where you can experience the ancient art of coopering.
Since 1947, the family owned Speyside Cooperage has produced the finest casks from the best American Oak. Today the cooperage continues to work and produce the age-old product, still using traditional methods and tools. Although shipped across the world, many of the casks remain in Scotland, providing a vital ingredient in Scotland’s whisky making process.
Join us as we take you on a journey through the lifecycle of the cask, see our highly skilled coopers at work, try it for yourself with our mini casks or simply relax and enjoy our gift and coffee shop.
Enjoy true Highland hospitality at this historic and ancient distillery, operating since 1786. Learn about the age-old craft of whisky distilling and the art of blending. Strathisla is the spiritual home of one of the most famous whisky brands in the world – Chivas Regal.
Whisky tasting is done principally with the nose - a far more acute organ than the tongue, although the two interrelate as the sample is swallowed.
While there are only four primary tastes, there are 32 primary smells. These are aromatic volatiles, which are detected by a small fleshy bulb called the Olfactory Epithelium, located at the back of our noses and having a direct link to the brain.
As well as registering the primary tastes, the tongue also detects what is termed 'mouthfeel' - the viscosity, texture and smoothness of the fluid we are swallowing - and 'pungency' (which is essentially an evaluation of pain - from irritation to unbearable - and is also picked up by the nose). In whisky tasting, pungency is particularly apparent in very strong spirit, which may sting your nose and tongue and induce numbness (temporary anaesthesia).
So you have to be careful when nosing whisky at full strength - i.e. as it comes from the cask.
Is a combination of three factors: smell, taste and feeling. Our noses detect scents - nuances of flavour from volatile aromatics - and pass this information direct to our brains. Our sense of the smells that surround us are recorded unconsciously, yet smells probably trigger memories more effectively than sounds or sights: they are the most evocative of experiences.
With a little practice you can soon learn to break smells down and identify their constituent parts. Putting names to them is more difficult, and will be explored later in this section. Primary tastes are registered by little sensory receptors on our tongues and palates. These are broadly arranged so that sweet flavours are picked up on the tip.
Both history and geography dictate your entry into this part of Scotland. If you’re in a hurry, there’s the main A90 dual carriageway north from Perth carving a way through the rich red earth of old Kincardineshire.
Or wander your way up through the picturesque coast on the A92 from Dundee. If you’re coming from Inverness and the north and west, then the A96 provides the quickest route. The A9 runs south-to-north and forms Scotland’s transport spine.
Use it to divert into Grampian by the A95 and a long run through distillery country of Speyside. Follow the Highland Tourist Route from Tomintoul to Cockbridge (A939) into Donside and the A944.
Wind your way from Perth and Blairgowrie over the Cairnwell (A93) - at 2200 feet the highest public road in the UK - then sweep down to Royal Deeside at Braemar.
For inspiring views of historic Kincardineshire look back from the summit of the Cairn O’Mount (B974) between Fettercairn and Banchory. For tourist routes, follow the distinctive brown-and-white signs.
Aberdeen Airport is served from most parts of the UK as well as flights from 26 destinations in eight countries, with London easily accessible on day-return services. Attractive low fares are available on BA, easyJet and Ryanair.
Aberdeen is the gateway to Orkney and Shetland. Use air connections or the North Isles sea route for summer services to Norway and Faroe. Or use the direct year-round ferry from Zeebrugge to Rosyth, and complete your journey north by car.
Nothing quite matches waking up in Aberdeen refreshed after a night on the sleeper. Or access Grampian by direct day trains from London. You can use the hourly services from Edinburgh and Glasgow, or the 10 trains daily from Inverness.
And don’t forget the direct services from Birmingham and Plymouth.