Benromach distillery

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Despite the stills being smaller, Gordon & MacPhail's new make bore a striking resemblance to that made under DCL’s stewardship. Quite how this happened is one of the mysteries surrounding Scotch and goes some way to adding to the belief that there is something about a distillery’s own microclimate which influences the character of the spirit.

Since then, it has appeared in peated guise, as an organic release, a 100% Golden Promise release, and in a succession of finishes in fortified and wine casks. With more time under its belt extra weight is now being shown by the maturing spirit.  

  • Region
    Speyside
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Distillery Status
    Working

Benromach History

Benromach’s tale comes in two distinct parts. This Forres-based distillery was yet another of the new builds of the late 19th century, constructed on land rented from a forgotten giant of the Victorian/Edwardian whisky trade, Alexander Edward [see Craigellachie/Aultmore].

Building started in 1898, but the distillery didn’t start making whisky until 1900. Its production was intermittent after that, with the distillery passing through a number of hands: Macdonald Greenlees, Joseph Hobbs, National Distillers of America and, finally, DCL.

The industry giant kept it running until 1983, when it was closed, one of a large number of distilleries which were shut as a result of an industry-wide stock surplus.

After 11 years of silence – during which its interior had been cannibalised for parts by Diageo – it was bought by Elgin’s Gordon & MacPhail. The firm then set about building what was effectively a new distillery in the shell of the old. It took the firm five years of trials before the first spirit was made.

Timeline

  • 1898 The Benromach Distillery Company, founded by Duncan McCallum and F.W. Brickman, begins building a facility in Forres, Morayshire
  • 1900 The distillery opens, but closes immediately due to financial woes
  • 1907 Benromach reopens as Forres distillery for three years under McCallum
  • 1910 The distillery closes again, this time until after WWI
  • 1931 Benromach falls silent once more for five years
  • 1938 Joseph Hobbs buys the distillery before passing it onto National Distillers of America
  • 1953 Ownership transfers to DCL, which keeps the distillery open for 30 years, refurbishing the facility and abolishing its floor maltings
  • 1983 Benromach is mothballed yet again
  • 1993 Gordon & MacPhail buys the distillery from United Distillers, but takes five years to get it up and running again
  • 1999 Gordon & MacPhail opens a visitors’ centre at the site
  • 2009 Benromach 10 Year Old, the distillery’s flagship whisky, is released

Benromach Facts

  • Capacity (mlpa) i
    0.135
  • Condenser Type i
    Shell and tube
  • Fermentation Time i
    3-5 days
  • Filling Strength i
    63.5%
  • Grist Weight (t) i
    1.5
  • Heat Source i
    Indirect steam panels
  • Malt Specification i
    12ppm
  • Malt Supplier i
    Scottish grown, Scottish malted, Bairds, Crisp, Boortmalt
  • Mash Tun Type i
    Semi Lauter
  • New-make Strength i
    70%
  • Single Malt Percentage i
    98%
  • Spirit Still Charge (l) i
    4,500
  • Spirit Still Shape i
    Plain with reflux ball
  • Spirit Still Size (l) i
    6,000
  • Stills i
    2
  • Warehousing i
    3 dunnage warehouses (total 8,000 casks)
  • Wash Still Charge (l) i
    7,500
  • Wash Still Shape i
    Plain
  • Wash Still Size (l) i
    10,000
  • Washback Charge (l) i
    75,000
  • Washback Size (l) i
    11,000
  • Washback Type i
    Larch
  • Washbacks i
    4
  • Water Source i
    Chapelton Spring
  • Wort Clarity i
    Cloudy
  • Yeast Type i
    Distillers and brewers

Owners

Speymalt Whisky Distributors logo

Parent company

  • Speymalt Whisky Distributors 1993 - present

Current owner

  • The Benromach Distillery Co

Previous owners

  • United Distillers 1987 - 1993
  • Distillers Company Limited 1953 - 1987
  • National Distillers of America ? - 1953
  • Joseph W Hobbs 1938 - ?
  • Benromach Distillery Limited 1919 - 1938
  • John Joseph Calder 1919
  • Harvey McNair & Co 1911 - 1919
  • Duncan McCallum 1898 - 1911

Contact

Address
Benromach Distillery
Invererne Road
Forres
Moray
IV36 3EB
United Kingdom
Website
Visit Website
Phone
+44 1309 675968
Email
Send Email
Visitor Opening Hours
Monday
9.30am (May-Sept), 10am (Oct-Apr) to 4pm (Oct-Apr), 5pm (May-Sept)
Tuesday
9.30am (May-Sept), 10am (Oct-Apr) to 4pm (Oct-Apr), 5pm (May-Sept)
Wednesday
9.30am (May-Sept), 10am (Oct-Apr) to 4pm (Oct-Apr), 5pm (May-Sept)
Thursday
9.30am (May-Sept), 10am (Oct-Apr) to 4pm (Oct-Apr), 5pm (May-Sept)
Friday
9.30am (May-Sept), 10am (Oct-Apr) to 4pm (Oct-Apr), 5pm (May-Sept)
Saturday
9.30am to 5pm (May-Sept)
Sunday
10am to 4pm (June-Sept)

Map

See also

  • Benriach Benriach Benriach Distillery & brand

    Benriach

    Moray producer of fruit-forward malt.

  • Benrinnes Benrinnes Benrinnes Distillery & brand

    Benrinnes

    A highly individual Speyside whisky.

  • Label 5 Label 5 Label 5 Brand

    Label 5

    One of the world’s top-selling blends.

  • Braeval Braeval Braeval Distillery & brand

    Braeval

    The joint highest Scottish distillery.

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