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Deeside distillery

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

One of Scotland’s new wave of experimental ‘craft’ whisky distilleries, Deeside is one of just a few Scottish whisky distilleries to be established by a brewery. Its cosy home within Banchory’s Deeside Brewery is fitting – the distillery draws on its brewers’ experience with varying barley roasts and alternative grains including rye and maize.

Since opening in 2017, Deeside has spent 18 months experimenting with its single malt spirit recipe, filling the liquid into 55-litre octave casks – which will never be released for sale.

With an impending move to larger premises Deeside’s production lifespan is on a timer. Just 100 casks of single malt – fermented in the brewery’s existing tanks and distilled in a 600-litre copper pot still  – will be produced, with just 88 casks released for sale.

Head distiller Liam Pennycook uses a mixture of pale, crystal and chocolate malts to produce a ‘biscuity and earthy’ single malt spirit.

At the same time, Deeside is also producing Scottish rum, rye and a ‘Bourbon-style’ whisky using a mashbill containing at least 51% corn, both of which are distilled in a square iStill.

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  • Region
    Highland
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
    Working
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Deeside History

Deeside Brewery was founded in Banchory in 2012 by Michael Bain, a former IT entrepreneur-turned-bar owner (of Dusk in Aberdeen).

The team installed distilling equipment in an extension to the brewery in 2017, and by July had laid down casks of its first single malt in a range of experimental 55-litre octaves.

In October 2018 the distillery installed a 600-litre copper pot still and in February 2019 began running distillations of a single malt spirit that’s being matured in a mixture of ex-Bourbon barrels and ex-Sherry butts.

While the extension offers limited space for the modest set-up, Deeside (formerly known as Twin River distillery) has plans to build a larger brewery and distillery on a 2.2-acre plot in Banchory, which will incorporate a visitor centre, restaurant and taproom. To fund the move, Deeside is seeking to raise £8 million through an investment drive and the pre-sale of casks.

Deeside plans to only produce 100 casks at its current distillery, before closing the plant and moving the operation to its new premises, which will be named Burn o’ Bennie.

Of the 100 casks produced, 88 are being sold to the public, while 12 will be retained by Deeside for bottling once the spirit reaches at least 10 years of age.

Timeline

  • 2012 Deeside Brewery is established in Banchory
  • 2017 Distilling equipment is added to an extension of the brewery
  • 2017 July: Deeside begins experimenting with laying down single malt spirit in octaves
  • 2018 A 600-litre copper pot still is installed at the site
  • 2019 February: Deeside lays down the first of 100 casks of its single malt, 88 of which will be released for sale

Deeside Facts

  • Capacity (mlpa) i
    0.01
  • Fermentation Time i
    72-96 hours
  • Filling Strength i
    63%
  • Grist Weight (t) i
    0.6
  • Heat Source i
    Steam with jacket
  • Malt Specification i
    Pale Malt/ Chocolate Malt/ Crystal Medium Malt
  • Malt Supplier i
    Crisp
  • Mash Tun Type i
    Lauter Tun
  • New-make Strength i
    68% abv
  • Single Malt Percentage i
    50% single malt, 50% gin and other projects
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
    600
  • Spirit Still Shape i
    Copper cylindrical
  • Spirit Still Size (l) i
    600
  • Stills i
    4 (two copper for single malt, two iStills for other spirits)
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
    1,600
  • Wash Still Shape i
    Copper cylindrical
  • Wash Still Size (l) i
    2,000
  • Washback Charge (l) i
    1,600
  • Washback Size (l) i
    2,000
  • Washback Type i
    Stainless steel conical
  • Washbacks i
    9
  • Water Source i
    Local water (filtered), and Deeside water for cutting/finishing
  • Yeast Type i
    Pinnacle distillers (active dry alcohol yeast)

Owner

Current owner

  • Deeside Brewery & Distillery Ltd
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Contact

Address
Deeside Distillery
The Steading
Lochton of Leys
Banchory
AB31 5QB
United Kingdom
Website
Visit Website
Phone
+44 (0)1339 883777
Visitor Opening Hours

Visits by appointment only.

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See also

  • Aberdeen Whisky Company Aberdeen Whisky Company Aberdeen Whisky Company Blender

    Aberdeen Whisky Company

    A now defunct company specialising in creating Scotch whisky for export, especially to Italy.

  • Ben Royal Ben Royal Ben Royal Brand

    Ben Royal

    Blended Scotch whisky brand created to commemorate the Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee.

  • John Bisset & Company John Bisset & Company John Bisset & Company Blender

    John Bisset & Company

    Non-trading blender and distiller owned by Diageo that once operated Royal Brackla distillery.

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