Benrinnes distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

It has six stills which are run in two pairs of three. For years a form of partial triple distillation was utilised to help promote a meaty/sulphury new make character. The low wines from the first distillation were split into strong and weak feints. The lower-strength portion was redistilled in the middle still and split into two again, with the stronger part [strong feints] being carried forward, the weaker being retained for the next charge. The strong feints were then mixed with the highest strength distillate from the wash still and redistilled in the spirit still.

Everything is run through worm tubs which are kept very cold, adding weight and meatiness to the spirit. In recent years, this complex distillation has been simplified.

Occasionally seen as an independent bottling, the clearest manifestation of its meaty quality (which puts it in a similar stylistic camp as Dailuaine, Mortlach and Cragganmore) is Diageo’s Flora and Fauna bottling which comes from 100% ex-Sherry matured whisky. 

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
  • Brands produced here

Benrinnes History

The current site of the Benrinnes distillery is in fact its second location. The original was built in 1826 by Peter MacKenzie but was destroyed in a flood in 1829. A new site was then found by John Innes.

Its most famous owner was Alexander Edward who was a partner in Craigellachie distillery, owned Aultmore, Dallas Dhu and was for a time co-owner of Oban [see Craigellachie]. The Edward family sold the distillery (which had caught fire in 1896) to John Dewar in 1922. It is now part of the Diageo stable. 


  • 1826 Lyne of Ruthrie distillery built at Whitehouse Farm in Aberlour by Peter MacKenzie
  • 1829 The distillery is destroyed by a flood, but a new distillery is erected by John Innes a few miles away
  • 1834 Innes goes bankrupt after just five years, and the business is sold to William Smith & Co
  • 1864 William Smith & Co also go bankrupt some 30 years later; the distillery is bought by David Edward
  • 1896 A serious fire breaks out, forcing a thorough refurbishment of the property
  • 1922 John Dewar & Sons purchases the distillery, and it becomes part of DCL three years later
  • 1955 Under DCL Benrinnes is completely refurbished
  • 1966 Benrinnes’ capacity is extended from three to six stills
  • 1974 The distillery begins a partial triple distillation process
  • 1984 The Saladin box installed at Benrinnes to replace its floor maltings in 1964 is abandoned, leaving the distillery to purchase its malt externally
  • 1991 Benrinnes’ first official bottling is a 15-year-old Flora and Fauna
  • 2007 Benrinnes abandons triple distillation in favour of traditional double distillation using two wash stills and four spirit stills

Benrinnes Facts

  • Condenser Type i
    Worm tub
  • Fermentation Time i
    Minimum 60hrs
  • Filling Strength i
  • Grist Weight (t) i
  • Heat Source i
  • Malt Specification i
  • Malt Supplier i
    Mainly in house
  • Mash Tun Type i
  • New-make Strength i
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
  • Spirit Still Shape i
  • Stills i
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
  • Wash Still Shape i
  • Washback Type i
  • Washbacks i
  • Water Source i
    Scurran and Rowantree Burns
  • Wort Clarity i
  • Yeast Type i


Current owner

Previous owners


Benrinnes Distilery
AB38 9NN
United Kingdom
+44 1340 872600
Visitor Opening Hours
Not open to the public


See also

  • Bell's Bell's Bell's Brand


    The UK’s best-selling blended Scotch.

  • Brora Brora Brora Distillery & brand


    Originally known as Clynelish, Brora has become a cult whisky.

  • McCallum's McCallum's McCallum's Brand


    An early 20th century ‘Scots’ blend that became a surprise hit in Australia.

  • Braeval Braeval Braeval Distillery & brand


    The joint highest Scottish distillery.

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