Benromach Distillery lies on the
outskirts of Forres, right beside the A96 which runs
past the town. The word ‘Benromach’ translates into
‘mount Romach’, and originates from the Romach hills
which stand a few kilometres south of the Distillery.
The Benromach Distillery was founded in
1898 by FW Brickham and Duncan McCallum. FW Brickham was
a whisky broker as well as the Director of Oban and
Aultmore Distilleries Ltd, and Duncan McCallum was the
founder of the Glen Nevis Distillery in Campbeltown. The
distillery was designed by Charles Doig who was a
prominent distillery engineer and architect at the time.
The distillery was all but finished when
the Pattison crash occurred in December 1898 (a severe
depression in the whisky industry caused by aggressive
and speculative growth tactics by the Pattison family).
As a result, the distillery did not start production
until the fall of 1909. Only five years later, in 1914,
the distillery had to close again due to WW1. At the end
of the war the distillery was bought by John Joseph
Calder who immediately sold it on to the Benromach
Distillery Ltd, a private company owned by several
brewery companies including the Greenlees & Williams Ltd
which was controlled by Joseph’s brother James.
Benromach was mothballed between 1925 and
1937. In 1938 the distillery was transferred to the
Associated Scottish Distilleries Ltd who later were
acquired by the National Distillers of America (NDS). In
1953 Benromach was bought by the Distillers Company Ltd
(DCL) who transferred Benromach to the Scottish Malt
Distillers company (SMD).
The distillery was renovated in 1966 when
the still house was rebuilt and equipped with a new
oil-fired boiler (probably the first in Scotland).
Further changes were made in 1968 when the maltings were
converted into a warehouse and in 1974 when the mash
house and the tunroom were renovated and modernised.
On March 24th in 1983 Benromach was
closed again and remained so until 1993 when it was
bought by its current owner Gordon & MacPhail. The
distillery was refurbished with new steam-heated stills
which were made smaller than the previous two. A new
mash tun was also installed and the wooden washbacks
were dismantled, renovated and reassembled.
Production resumed in 1998, almost
exactly 100 years after the distillery was founded. HRH
Prince of Wales hosted the reopening and signed the
first cask to be produced by the ‘new’ distillery. In
1999 a visitor centre named the ‘Malt Whisky Centre’ was
opened in the old Drier House. One year later the centre
was awarded a four-star visitor attraction grading from
the Scottish Tourist Board.
In 2004 Benromach launched their first
bottling since the reopening, the Benromach Traditional
which had been stored for 5 ½ years in Bourbon (80
percent) and Sherry casks (20 percent). Benromach also
offer several single malt bottlings produced before the
Benromach Traditional 40%
Benromach 18 years, 40%
Benromach 1982 18 years Cask Strength 61%
Benromach 25 years, 40%
Benromach 1973, 40%
Benromach 1974 23 years 40%
Probably the first distillery in Scotland
to install an oil-fired boiler. Today’s stills are
Medium-bodied, fruity and malty with a
long, mild and smoky finish.
draw their water from the Chapelton Springs in the heart
of the Romach hills. The Barley (Chariot) is bought
slightly peated primarily from the Moray Firth Maltings.
The mash tun is made from stainless steel and holds 1.5
tons. The four larch washbacks each hold 11 000 litres.
The wash still is onion shaped and has a capacity of 7
500 litres while the spirit still is a boiling ball
model and holds 5 000 litres. Both stills are steam
heated and have rather short and wide necks.
The whisky is stored primarily in bourbon casks but
sherry casks are also used. The casks are stored on site
in traditional warehouses. Bottling is done in the
Gordon & McPhail facility in Elgin.
The annual output of Benromach is between 150 000 and
200 000 litres.
Phone: +44 (0)
)1309 675968 Fax: +44 (0)
Manager: Keith Cruickshank
Visitors: Opening Times
October to December, February and March (excluding
Christmas): Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm (last tour 3pm).
April to September: Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 5pm
(last tour 4pm). Open also on Sundays in June, July and
August 12 noon – 4pm (last tour 3pm).
Adult (18years and over) £3.00 (The admission includes a
voucher for £2.50 redeemable at the Distillery against a
purchase of 70cl Malt Whisky aged 10 years or more)
Groups of 12 or more are urged to phone in advance. The
gift shop is well stocked with glassware, clothes,
whisky from the Benromach Distillery and many other
bottlings from Gordon & MacPhail.
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