Portsoy distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

It’s claimed Portsoy distillery – also spelled Portsea – is the same as another in the town, named Burnside. While their OS coordinates are slightly different, there is an overlap between two licensees, one listed at Burnside, one at Portsoy. There’s little information to support the theory they were two separate operations, so for argument's sake we must treat them as one.

The distillery was situated at Portsoy, a harbour and fishing town on the Moray Firth in Banffshire, now Aberdeenshire.

The major Burn of Durn flows on the town of Portsoy’s eastern flank, but old maps show no distillery buildings near it. A small burn, now culverted, ran north through the town from the Loch of Soy to the harbour and may have supplied water to the distillery. A street close by bears the name Burnside, so it is possible that the distillery stood there.  

The Portsoy Distillery Co. produced 4,630 gallons of spirit in the first half of 1826, according to a report in the Aberdeen Daily Journal in early 1827. 

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
  • Previous names

Portsoy History

Portsoy distillery is first mentioned in the Edinburgh Advertiser in 1800. It was licensed to the Portsoy Distillery Co. from 1825 and then to Robert Marquis from 1830. Next, under the Burnside name, it was licensed to William Martin (possibly a tenant) from 1833-34, then briefly to James Farquharson in 1837 when the distillery closed.


  • 1800 The Edinburgh Advertiser makes mention of Portsoy distillery
  • 1825 A licence is issued to the Portsoy Distillery Co.
  • 1830 Robert Marquis begins a five year stint as licensee at Portsoy
  • 1833-34 William Martin is named as licensee of Burnside distillery
  • 1835 The distillery falls silent
  • 1837 The licence passes finally to James Farquharson, but distilling ceases the same year


United Kingdom

See also

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