Glencraig Profile

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

While independent bottlings of Glencraig occasionally appear, it was never intended as a single malt in its brief life. It was distilled by Hiram Walker at the Glenburgie distillery to provide a different style of malt for the firm’s blends, such as its top-selling Ballantine’s Finest.

The difference came from using Lomond stills which incorporated various perforated plates and an adjustable lyne arm to vary the reflux. It was named Glencraig after Hiram Walker’s production director, Willie Craig.

A 1975 bottling by Gordon & MacPhail was described as ‘sweet and fruity… with a spicy edge and orange peel aromas’. 

Map
  • Region
    Speyside
  • Production type
    Single malt
  • Produced at
    Glenburgie

Glencraig History

In 1955 Alastair Cunningham and his Hiram Walker colleague, draftsman Arthur Warren, developed the Lomond still to produce a light, fruity spirit for the likes of Ballantine’s.

After a successful trial at Inverleven, the malt whisky distillery within the firm’s Dumbarton distillery complex in Dumbarton, it was decided to install a Lomond wash and spirit still at Glenburgie in Moray in 1958.

Christened Glencraig, its newmake spirit was distinct from Glenburgie’s, and gave Hiram Walker another malt for its blends without having to invest in a whole new distillery.

Unfortunately the so-called rectifying plates in the neck of Lomond stills were notoriously hard to clean, and in 1981 they were abandoned at Glenburgie. Since then occasional bottles of Glencraig single malt have been released by Duncan Taylor, Gordon & MacPhail, Signatory and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Today Glenburgie distillery is operated by Chivas Brothers, its whisky still largely used for the Ballantine’s blend.

Timeline

  • 1955 Alastair Cunningham and Arthur Warren develop the Lomond still
  • 1956 Hiram Walker installs the first Lomond still at Inverleven within its Dumbarton distilling complex
  • 1958 A Lomond wash and spirit still are installed at Glenburgie, and Glencraig is born
  • 1981 Production of Glencraig ceases as Glenburgie abandons its Lomond stills
  • 2004 The original Glenburgie distillery is demolished and rebuilt into a more open plan plant
  • 2005 Glenburgie joins Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Brothers Holdings

Owners

Parent company

Current owner

Previous owners

See also

  • Aberlour Aberlour Aberlour Distillery & brand

    Aberlour

    Part of Chivas Brothers' portfolio, Aberlour is best known for its cult expression, A'Bunadh.

  • Braeval Braeval Braeval Distillery & brand

    Braeval

    The joint highest Scottish distillery.

  • Glen Keith Glen Keith Glen Keith Distillery & brand

    Glen Keith

    Experimental site with a fruity whisky.

  • Glentauchers Glentauchers Glentauchers Distillery & brand

    Glentauchers

    A substantial granite distillery.

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