Gilcomston distillery

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Gilcomston was originally a brewery beside the Denburn in Aberdeen, on a site that today sits midway between the Grammar and Gilcomston Primary schools. 

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status

Gilcomston History

Gilcomston first distilled in 1751, after being converted into a distillery by Gilcomston Distillery Co. which collapsed in 1763. It spent the next 60 years as a brewery again, until the introduction of the Excise Act in 1823 encouraged Thomson Elsmie (or Emslie) and Co. to convert it back into a distillery again in 1825.

Sadly, like many whisky distilleries in Scotland at the time, Gilcomston was closed yet again in 1837. Its life as a distillery – and brewery – was over, and the site was converted into a meal mill. Its subsequent history is obscure and the area today appears to be mainly residential.


  • 1751 Gilcomston Distillery Co. converts a brewery beside the Denburn into a distillery
  • 1763 After little over a decade in operation, the company fails, and the plant resumes brewing beer only
  • 1825 The site is licensed to Thomson Elsmie (or Emslie) and Co., which converts it back into a distillery
  • 1837 Gilcomston is closed after its owner folds


Gilcomston Park Street
United Kingdom

See also

  • Aberdeen Asset Management Aberdeen Asset Management Aberdeen Asset Management Own-label

    Aberdeen Asset Management

    Global asset manager with Scotch whisky connections and own-label bottlings to its name.

  • Bridge of Don Bridge of Don Bridge of Don Distillery

    Bridge of Don

    A lost distillery that operated somewhere on Aberdeen’s northern edge in the late 18th century.

  • Glenburn Glenburn Glenburn Distillery


    Urban Aberdeen distillery that survived 40 years in the early 19th century.

  • South Bridge South Bridge South Bridge Distillery

    South Bridge

    A 19th century distillery that operated on what was then the outskirts of Aberdeen.

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