Balmenach distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The fermentation is long, the stills relatively small and run quickly, and the vapour runs into worm tubs, rather than shell and tube condensers. This helps to produce a slow-maturing new make character which is rich and meaty, ideal for adding weight and grunt to blends, and also to be a good match with ex-Sherry casks.

Inver House has no plans to release this highly distinctive whisky as a single malt. The reason for this is that the make – whose style is unusual these days – is too highly-prized as fillings for blends, both by Inver House and other firms. 

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status

Balmenach History

This is an old distillery. James MacGregor took out his licence in 1824 on what was a farm after a period of illicit production. According to Robert Bruce Lockhart, this took place soon after MacGregor had received a visit from a local gauger. When asked what a specific farm building contained, he said it was simply a peat shed. “Well, I suggest you take out a licence for it,” replied the gauger.

Bruce Lockhart was related to the MacGregors and his highly recommended book, Scotch, contains many fascinating details about old-style distillation as practised in Cromdale. The distillery eventually passed into the hands of Scotch Malt Distillers, DCL’s malt production arm, which expanded the plant to include a Saladin maltings. It was briefly mothballed between 1993 and 1997, when it was sold to current owner, Inver House, which also produces Caorunn Gin here.


  • 1824 James McGregor obtains a legal license for his previously illicit operation, Balmenach distillery
  • 1922 The McGregor family sell the distillery to a consortium that becomes part of DCL in 1925
  • 1962 Balmenach’s production capacity is boosted to include six stills
  • 1964 The distillery’s floor maltings are replaced with a Saladin box
  • 1993 Balmenach is mothballed as Scotch demand diminishes
  • 1997 The distillery is bought by Inver House Distillers and production recommences a year later
  • 2009 The distillery starts production of Celtic gin, Caorunn


Parent company

Current owner

Previous owners

  • United Distillers 1987 - 1997
  • Scottish Malt Distillers 1930 - 1987
  • Distillers Company Limited 1925 - 1930
  • Peter Dawson 1922 - 1925
  • Macdonald Green and James Watson 1922 - 1925 (jointly with Peter Dawson)
  • Balmenack-Glenlivet Distillery 1897 - 1922
  • The McGregor Family 1824 - 1897


Balmenach Distillery
Balmenach Road
PH26 3PF
United Kingdom
+44 1479 872569
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public


See also

  • Knockdhu Knockdhu Knockdhu Distillery & brand


    Producer of Ancnoc single malt.

  • Pulteney Pulteney Pulteney Distillery


    Home to the Old Pulteney single malt.

  • Speyburn Speyburn Speyburn Distillery & brand


    A little-known but top-selling malt.

  • Garnheath Garnheath Garnheath Distillery & brand


    Lowland grain distillery situated within the vast Moffat distilling complex.

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