John Crabbie & Company Profile

John Crabbie & Co’s whisky interests lay in blending as well as the operation of Haddington grain distillery in East Lothian, though it also produced gin and liqueurs.

Its most famous product was Crabbie’s Green Ginger Wine. The brand name Crabbie’s is now owned by Halewood International Holdings and used in relation to alcoholic and non-alcoholic ginger beer.

John Crabbie & Company History

The origins of John Crabbie & Co can be traced back to 1801, when one Miller Crabbie set himself up as a merchant in Edinburgh. Under the control of his son, John, the company acquired a former porter brewery in Leith, which became the base for the family’s expanding whisky blending business. They owned Haddington distillery in East Lothian, which produced grain whisky from 1852 until the mid-1860s when the operation closed. John Crabbie & Co was also involved in the rectification of gin and the production of fruit cordials, and Crabbie’s Green Ginger Wine became its best-known product.

John Crabbie was the first chairman of Edinburgh’s North British Distillery, established in October 1885 as an independent alternative source of grain spirit to the increasingly influential Distillers Company Ltd. Ultimately, however, Crabbie’s was acquired by DCL in 1963 and subsequently Balmenach distillery on Speyside was licensed to the firm.

During the 1980s, DCL sold John Crabbie & Co Ltd to Macdonald & Muir, owner of the Highland Queen blend and Glenmorangie single malt, and production of green ginger wine was transferred from Leith to Macdonald & Muir’s headquarters at Broxburn in West Lothian. In 2007 the brand was sold on to Halewood International, based near Liverpool.

In terms of Scotch whisky, John Crabbie & Co Ltd was best recognised in later years for its 8-year-old and 12-year-old deluxe blends.

Distilleries & Brands


John Crabbie & Company Limited
Mitchell House, 5 Mitchell Street
United Kingdom

See also

  • Hall & Bramley Hall & Bramley Hall & Bramley Blender

    Hall & Bramley

    Producer of the Glen Carren blended malt, as well as other spirits such as rum and gin.

  • The Glenmorangie Company The Glenmorangie Company The Glenmorangie Company Distiller & blender

    Glenmorangie Company

    The Scotch malt whisky arm of luxury goods group Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy (LVMH).

  • Douglas Macniven & Company Douglas Macniven & Company Douglas Macniven & Company Independent bottler

    Douglas Macniven & Company

    Subsidiary of The Glenmorangie Company Ltd that once bottled the notorious 80:20 blend.

  • Serendipity Serendipity Serendipity Brand


    Blended malt born by mistake at Glenmorangie’s blending plant after some clever lateral thinking.

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