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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

White Horse Scotch Whisky

White Horse Distllers Limited

Principle Brands

White Horse

White Horse Aged 12 years


Peter Mackie worked for his uncle, James Logan, at Lagavulin Distillery before establishing his own company - Mackie & Co. Distillers Limited - in 1883.


After inheriting Lagavulin in 1890, Mackie built a second distillery in Speyside, at Craigellachie in partnership with Alexander Edward


In 1920 the Hazelburn Distillery in Campbeltown was purchased. This however, was only a short-term with the distillery closing in 1925.


Peter Mackie recognised the importance of a high quality blended whisky and marketing it accordingly. The brand was originally known as Mackie’s White Horse Cellar Scotch whisky.


However the Mackie’s and Cellar was dropped and .In 1890 the "White Horse" trademark was first registered in the UK. At the time the name was seen as highly ground-breaking as most whiskies were being sold under their founder's name, for example, "Ballantines"  "Dewars", "Haigs", and "Johnnie Walker".


The name of the whisky was taken from The White Horse Cellar Inn, which was situated in the Canongate district of Edinburgh, this was derived from the white palfrey that carried Mary Queen of Scots to and from Holyrood Palace.


Famous as a haunt of writers and actors It was also the starting point of the Edinburgh to London stage - a journey that took 8 days, "if God permits", as the original notice put it. Situated next to the Inn was the ancestral home of the Mackie family.


Mackie was knighted for his contribution to the whisky industry. He was a believer in maturing whiskies for longer than usual and it was White Horse that pioneered the screw cap closure. Peter Mackie was once described as "one-third genius, one-third megalomaniac and one-third eccentric".


Sir Peter Mackie died in 1924 and his company adopted the name "White Horse Distillers Limited". Three years later it became part of the Distillers Company Limited (DCL).