Advertisement

Ainslie & Heilbron Distillers Profile

For a few years Ainslie & Heilbron owned and operated the original Clynelish distillery (also known as Brora). However, to stave off bankruptcy after the Pattison Crash, it sold the distillery to concentrate on whisky blending. A number of mergers soon followed until it joined DCL in 1925.

Advertisement

Ainslie & Heilbron Distillers History

This company can trace its origins back to 1868 when James Ainslie & Co. was founded as a wine and spirit merchant in Leith, Edinburgh. The company proved to be very successful and, at the height of the whisky boom, purchased the Clynelish distillery in 1896 and completely re-built it within two years.

However, James Ainslie & Co. suffered along with the rest of the Scotch whisky industry after the Pattison crash of 1898, and in 1912 only survived bankruptcy by selling Clynelish to James Risk (the former owner of Bankier distillery in the Scottish Lowlands) and DCL, who took a half share each. The next year the company merged with fellow blenders Walter Baillie & Sons, Robertson Brothers and John Gillon & Co. to form Ainslie, Baillie & Co. of Leith.

This company traded until 1921 when, upon the retirement of Robert Ainslie, son of founder James, the company was liquidated and taken over by Sir James Calder, the chairman of blender Alexander & Macdonald. Calder merged the company with another old blending company, David Heilbron Ltd., and distilling company Colville Greenlees & Co, owner of the Argyll distillery in Campbeltown, to form Ainslie & Heilbron (Distillers) Ltd.

By 1925 Ainslie & Heilbron had become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Calder’s expanded MacDonald, Greenlees & Williams Ltd. of Leith. That same year he sold MacDonald, Greenlees & Williams to DCL, along with his own distillery Dalwhinnie, bringing Ainslie & Heilbron under the control of the distilling giant.

Distilleries & Brands

Advertisement

Contact

Address
Ainslie & Heilbron Distillers Limited
Distillers House
33 Ellersly Road
Edinburgh
EH12 6JW
United Kingdom
Map

See also

  • Brora Brora Brora Distillery & brand

    Brora

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

  • Cameron Brig Cameron Brig Cameron Brig Brand

    Cameron Brig

    Cameron bridge distillery's lesser-known single grain whisky.

  • Abbot's Choice Abbot's Choice Abbot's Choice Brand

    Abbot's Choice

    In the 1960s ceramic monks filled with Scotch sold as far afield as Peru.

  • Benmore Benmore Benmore Brand

    Benmore

    A long established blend from an old Glasgow whisky firm, that is still popular in Asia.

Scroll To Top