Clynelish distillery information

The Clynelish distillery was established in 1967 in the Scottish coastal town of Brora by Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD). It was built across the road from the older distillery with the same name. The year after establishing this distillery, the name of the older distillery was switched to Clynelish 1, and later, to avoid confusion, to Brora. The new one initially started as Clynelish 2. The new distillery was essentially built as a modernized version of the original, using stills shaped after the old stills, and producing a similar type of whisky as Brora, albeit less peaty.

In 1987, the distillery was transferred to United Distillers, who in turn were acquired by Diageo in 1998. They installed 2 additional washbacks in 2008, allowing the distillery to continue production 7 days a week.

In 2014, Diageo announced the intention to add a mashtun, 10 additional washbacks, and 6 new stills to the Clynbelish distillery, essentially doubling the distillery’s current capacity.

Clynelish whisky

Clynelish, like it’s older brother, produces a oily textured whisky, somehow reminding of wax in your mouth. Normally, during the production of whisky, residue (sludge) will build up in the feints and foreshots receivers in the distillery. This is normally cleared during the silent period of the year. However, in Clynelish, the sludge (which is completely natural and harmless) is left in the tanks, and this lends the mouth-coating waxiness to the whisky.

Most of the spirit produced is used in blends (particularly Johnnie Walker). In the past, official bottlings were hard to find. Since adding Clynelish to the Classic Malts, though, there are some bottles readily available:

  • 14 Years Old, Flora and Fauna, bottled around the year 2000
  • 14 Years Old (First available in 2003, replacing the Flora and Fauna)
  • Distillers Edition (finished in Olorosso Sherry casks)
  • Distillery Only Bottle (only available at the distillery itself)

Distillery info:

Water sourceClynemilton burn
Owned byDiageo

Clynelish Distillery
Clynelish Rd
Brora, Highlands and Islands
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1408 623000

Visitor centreYes
CommunityClassic Malts

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun12.5 tonnes1 (Stainless Steel)
Washback58,600 litres10 (Larch)
Wash still17,000 litres3
Spirit Still20,000 litres3
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)4,500,000