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BenRiach Malt Whisky Distillery History
The BenRiach Distillery was established by the Grant Family in 1898 on the same site as the Longmorn Distillery. Indeed, locally BenRiach was sometimes referred to as ‘Longmorn 2’.
However, the timing of the opening proves to be unfortunate, preceding the ‘Pattison Crash’ of 1900 by just a few months. This leaves widespread distillery closures and BenRiach is mothballed after just two years of production. The distillery remains closed until 1965, however BenRiach’s floor maltings remain in constant production during this period, providing malted barley for the fully operational Longmorn Distillery.
BenRiach is re-opened by Glenlivet Distillers Ltd, in 1965 having been almost totally rebuilt, and production re-convenes.
During1972 in addition to the regular distillation, a production of peated malt whisky commences. This move is a response to the increasing cost of Islay whisky due to a general industry shortage. With no Islay distillery in their portfolio, and with peated malt a key component in Seagram’s key blended whisky brands, the firm decided to produce their own peated Speyside, at BenRiach.
Glenlivet Distillers Ltd, and the various distilleries under their ownership, including BenRiach and Longmorn, is purchased by Canadian whisky firm Seagrams in 1978.
As production steps up, BenRiach is expanded from two stills to four in 1985.
In 1994 BenRiach is released for the first time as a single malt brand in its own right. The whisky is bottled at 10 years old / 43%, and is included as part of Seagram’s ‘Heritage Collection’ along with Strahisla (12YO), Glenkieth (1983) and Longmorn (15YO).
The BenRiach floor maltings are closed in 1999 after 101 years of uninterrupted operation. The maltings remain in good working order, and could be re-activated almost immediately.
2001 Seagrams are acquired by French firm Pernod Ricard Four distilleries in the group move to rotational production, distilling for just 3 months of the year; BenRiach, Allt a’Bhainne, Braeval and Caperdonich. These four distilleries are subsequently mothballed in August of 2002
2004 New Owners
In April 2004 BenRiach was acquired by an independent consortium, headed by Scotch Whisky industry veteran Billy Walker, and production re-convenes immediately, meaning the inventory is almost uninterrupted.
On the 7th of August 2004 the first bottling of BenRiach under the new owners takes place; BenRiach ‘Heart of Speyside’, 12, 16 and 20 years old, and the peated 10 years old are all bottled for the first time.
On the 20th of September 2004 the first distillation under the new owners is filled to cask. 96 ‘green’ (i.e. first-fill bourbon) barrels are filled, numbered 1 to 96, and are immediately transferred to the BenRiach warehouses for maturation, not to see the light of day for at least 12 years.
The BenRiach Distillery
TEL: +44 (0) 1343 862888.
No Visitor Facilities
However they do offer a Managers tour by appointment only.
Contact the distillery for details.
Founded in 1898 by the Grant Family
Location Speyside Lossie region
Water source Burnside springs
Stainless steel mash tun,
8 Stainless steel washbacks,
2 wash stills 2 spirit stills.
Matured in American oak bourbon barrels and European sherry casks.
Malthouse, Distillery and Dunnage warehouses Photo SlideShow
51 photographs taken around the distillery showing around the exterior of the distillery, the inside of the malt house, the stillroom and inside the traditional dunnage warehouses.
BenRiach Singe Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings
Flagship Classic Speyside style.
‘Heart of Speyside’ (no age statement)
12 years old
16 years old
20 years old
BenRiach Wood Finishes
12 year old Pedro Ximienez, Sherry
15 year old in ; Dark Rum, Madeira, Sherry, Tawney Port
16 year old Claret,
17 year old Burgundy, Rioja
Peated BenRiach Singe Malt Scotch Whisky
'Birnie Moss' PEATED
‘Curiositas’ PEATED 10 years old
Septendecim, PEATED 17 year old
‘Authenticus’ PEATED 21 years old
‘Authenticus’ PEATED 25 years old
BernRiach Limited Editions
25 years old
30 years old
40 years old
Horizons Triple Distilled 12 year old
Solstice 15 year old,17 year old
Firkin 32 year old
BenRiach Singe Malt Scotch Whisky Single Cask Limited editions
Covering various years and assorted ages from 1966 to 1988
BenRiach Distillery Blended Scotch Whisky
Glen Bervie Blended Scotch Whisky
Clan Murray Blended Scotch Whisky
Benriach Whisky Independent Bottlings
Chieftains (Ian McLeod),
Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail),
Dun Bheagan (Ian McLeod),
Duncan Taylor Collection
Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),
Provenance (Douglas Laing),
Whisky Galore (Duncan Taylor).
Benriach Scotch Whisky
Distillery Style Tasting Notes
BenRiach produces whisky in two Styles
Non Peated and Peated
Nose: Light, malty, perfumed.
Palate: Very light and delicate. Barley-sugar sweetness, citrus fruits, oak and spices.
Finish : Vanilla, oak, honey.
Nose: Fresh peat reek.
Palate: Sweet fresh peat, malt and spices.
Finish: Complex with peat, toffee vanilla and spice.
The Distillery Also "finishes" both versions in Wine Sherry Port and Rum Casks.
BenRiach Discontinued Distillery Bottlings.
12 years old Sherry wood
over 12 years old Fine wood Finishes in:
Dark Rum, Pedro Ximienez, Tawny Port.
16 years old Sauternes Wood Finish
' Arumaticus' PEATED over 12 years old
' Heredotus Fumosus' PEATED over 12 years old
' importanticus Fumosus' PEATED over 12 years old
13 years old Maderensis Fumosus Heavily Peated