Single malt made at Knockdhu distillery.
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Speyburn's stillhouse is the same (albeit now with steam driven stills) and the worm tubs have been retained. Like most worm sites this method of condensing produces a deliberately sulphury new make [see Knockdhu, Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie] which changes in cask to reveal the singular delicate, fragrant character which lies underneath.
Located in a tight little glen opposite Glen Grant, Speyburn started operation in 1897 and was one of a number of distilleries designed by local architect Charles Doig (the inventor of the distillery pagoda, for most people the defining feature of any plant). The pagoda was originally built to help ventilate the distillery’s kiln. It would have worked hard as Doig also installed the first ‘pneumatic’ (drum) maltings in the Highlands on site, allowing Speyburn’s production not to be tied to the size of its malting floors. These stayed in use at Speyburn until 1968.
Like many distilleries it was absorbed into Scottish Malt Distillers (the malt arm of DCL) but changed hands in 1991 becoming part of Inver House.
In recent years, Speyburn has been marketed as a value for money malt in the US. While this has resulted in large volumes in terms of sales, the price pot hasn’t helped the whisky’s reputation. Strangely for a top-10 malt brand, it is still unknown to most of the world and probably under-appreciated where it’s a best-seller.
- 1897 John and Edward Hopkins found the Speyburn distillery through company John Hopkin & Co
- 1916 DCL takes over the company and distillery
- 1930 The distillery falls silent for four years
- 1968 Speyburn's drum maltings are closed
- 1991 Inver House Distillers buys Speyburn
- 2001 Pacific Spirits acquires Inver House for $85m
- 2006 International Beverage Holdings buys out Pacific Spirits UK
- 2012 Clan Speyburn, an online fan community for the brand, is formed
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- Worm tub
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- Semi lauter
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- Distiller's cream
- Visit Website
- +44 1340 831213
- Visitor Opening Hours
- Not open to the public
Old Pulteney single malt is distilled in the fishing port of Wick at the Pulteney distillery.
Heavily peated Lowland malt produced at the short-lived Killyloch distillery in Airdrie.
Distillery & brand
Lowland grain distillery situated within the vast Moffat distilling complex.