The Benriach Distillery was founded in 1898 by John Duff & Co five kilometres south of Elgin by the river Lossie. The name originates from a local farmstead. John Duff & Co built the distillery after their great success with the Longmorn distillery. Unfortunately, hard times forced them to close the distillery only two years later. However, the malting facility at Benriach was kept operational and supplied Longmorn with malted barley. In 1965 Benriach was purchased by The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. Extensive repairs and improvements were made and the distillery was practically rebuilt. In 1978 it was sold again to Seagram’s Distillers, which later came to be part of Pernod Ricard. In 1985, the number of stills were increased from two to four and the annual production rose from 2.5 million litres to 3.5 million litres.
Benriach’s whisky is very popular in the blending industry since it is considered to blend well without adding its own character to the whisky. In 1994 the first official bottling of Benriach Single Malt was released. It is an interesting whisky since Benriach is one of few distilleries who still have their own malting floor. Benriach was mothballed in 2001 because the stocks were considered to be sufficient for future demand. Benriach Distillery Company Ltd, a privately-owned company, bought the Distillery early in 2004. The sum obtained from the sale was close to £5.4 million. The new owners aim to re-open business in July 2004. Billy Walker, one of the three major owners, is optimistic about the future; before the end of 2004 the company aims to release 12, 16 and 20 year old bottlings. Additionally, a more peated version which was distilled between 1993 and 1996 will be released in the near future.
Production at Benriach
Benriach DistilleryBenriach uses water from the local springs that are also used by Longmorn. Some of the barley (less than 10%) is malted on site, the rest is purchased. They have a mash tun made from cast iron which holds 7 tons. The four traditional copper onion-shaped stills are steam heated. The stills are relatively small, holding between 9 000 and 15 000 litres. The raw spirit is usually stored in bourbon casks, although the distillery also has a few sherry casks. Annual production is somewhere between 10 000 and 15 000 boxes per year
Benriach DistilleryPhone: +44 (0)1542 783400
Manager: Alan McConnochie
Visitors: Unclear what policy the new owners will have, please contact them for information. In any event, do not miss the chance to visit one of Scotland’s few remaining distilleries which still has its own malting facility!
Owner: Benriach Distillery Company Ltd