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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Imperial Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Speyside Distillery 1897-1998

Imperial Malt Whisky Distillery History 


Established in 1897 by Thomas Mackenzie owner of the Dailuaine distillery on Speyside. This coincided with Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, which was no doubt an influencing factor when naming the distillery. To commemorate the jubilee a gilt crown was placed on the malting kiln roof.


The following year the distillery was amalgamated into the Dailuaine Talisker Distilleries Ltd.


The distillery was mothballed from 1899 until 1919 it briefly re-opened until 1925 when it passed to the new owners DCL


With a change in management to SMD in 1955, there was a complete refit of the equipment and distillation recommenced, at the same time the gilt imperial crown was taken down from the malting kiln due to rust.


The stills where increased from 2 to 4 in 1965. However the distillery was mothballed for the period of 1985 to 1989 when Allied Distillers purchased it. Who, after some work, reopened the distillery in 1991.

Only to be mothballed again in 1998.


Pernod Ricard purchased the distillery in 2005  


Imperial Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings


Imperial 15 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Imperial Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Independent Bottlings


Angus Dundee

Battlehill (Duncan Taylor).

Berry’s Own Selection,

Cadenhead ‘s,


Duncan Taylor Collection,

Gordon & MacPhail,

NC2 (Duncan Taylor).

Platinum (Douglas Laing),

Private Collection (Gordon & MacPhail),

Provenance (Douglas Laing),

Old Masters (James MacArthur)

Un-Chill Filtered  (Signatory).

Whisky Galore (Duncan Taylor).


Imperial Single Malt Scotch Whisky 1991 43% Gordon & MacPhail,


Colour: Bright amber.



Nose: Sweet malt, toasted cereal. Green grass with fruit notes - red apple skins and cherries. Rich spices -traces of ginger.


Palate: Sweet and spicy - liquorice and aniseed. Toasted malt flavours develop with a peppery edge. Subtle mulled fruitiness.


With Water

Nose: Sweet chocolate, malty aromas. Spices - dusted fruit notes. Rounded


Palate: Aniseed and eucalyptus flavours. Strong grape/wine note - cognac like. Toasted malt element still present.


Body: Light, balanced.


Finish: Rich fruit with sweet malty note.


Cask Type: Sherry Butts and Refill American Bourbons.


Whisky Style: Subtle Speyside malt with clean flavours and aromas.

Imperial Distillery,





Closed and Demolished

Imperial Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes


Nose: Sweet barley sugar, honey, vanilla, faintly smokey.


Palate: Soft medium bodied. Sweet, malty, spicy.


Finish: Sweet and complex.


Founded in 1897 by Thomas Mackenzie

Location Speyside region Central district Aberlour.

Water source The Ballintomb Burn.

Mothballed 1998 Sold to Chivas 2005

Demolished 2013.

Chivas (Pernod Richard) Plan to build a new Distillery on the Site