GlenDronach Distillery Information

The GlenDronach distillery was founded in 1826 by GlenDronach Distillery Co.; a partnership spearheaded by James Allardice. GlenDronach is located in the Deveron part of the Scottish Highlands. More specifically, it’s located near Forgue, By Huntly in Aberdeenshire. The distillery was built in an existing estate called the Glen House, which was built in 1771, and converted to a distillery in 1826. Disaster struck in 1837 though, and a fire destroyed the distillery. It’s claimed this was due to a lack of oversight by management. For the time, though, fires erupting in distilleries were pretty common (imagine that. Open fires and alcohol vapors prior to the age of proper safety controls).

The GlenDronach Distillery

The GlenDronach Distillery

John Allardice went bankrupt in 1842, with the company being acquired by Walter Scott (who was a former manager at Teannich) and Alexander Ross. In 1887 GlenDronach was acquired by a consortium from Leith. In 1916, it was acquired by the Crown. The distillery then went silent for a while until 1920, when it was purchased by Captain Charles Grant, a son of William Grant (from GlenFiddich). He controlled GlenDronach until 1960.

In 1960, GlenDronach was sold to William Teacher & Sons Ltd, who doubled the production capacity of the distillery. At the same time, great care was taken to ensure  the distillery could continue to produce their spirit in the traditional manner, with a malting floor, Oregon pine washbacks, their own peat-fired kiln, and stills fired directly by coal.  Between 1866 and 1867, two additional stills were fitted, bringing the total to four (coal fired). In 1976, William Teacher & Sons Ltd are absorbed by Allied Breweries, who decided to mothball the distillery in 1996. During the silent period, in 2001 the malting floors were retired.

The GlenDronach Stills

The GlenDronach Stills

When all hope seemed lost for GlenDronach, in 2002, it suddenly sprang back to life, again ceasing producing to have the stills converted to indirect steam heating in 2005. In that same year, Allied Domecq (who acquired Allied Breweries) were taken over by Pernod Ricard, who in turn passed the distillery to their subsidiary Chivas Brothers. In 2008, the distillery passed hands again, this time to the BenRiach Distillery Company Ltd. (who also own Benriach and Glenglassaugh). They’ve been investing heavily in the distillery since, releasing several new expressions.

GlenDronach Whisky

GlenDronach prides itself on its richly Sherry flavored whisky.

The whisky produced at GlenDronach finds its way into blends. However, since its acquisition in 2008, more official bottlings have been released, including:

  • 12 Year Old
  • 15 Year Old
  • 18 YEar Old
  • 21 Year Old
  • Cask Strength

There’s also a Wood finishes range, where different casks are used for finishing:

  • Sauternes finish
  • Virgin Oak finish
  • Moscatel finish
  • Tawny port finish

Lastly, there’s some limited editions:

  • 1968 Recherché; limited to 632 bottles
  • Single cask; a yearly release
  • Grandeur 24 Year Old; matured in Oloroso casks

Distillery info:

Water sourceLocal sources
Owned byThe Benriach Distillery Company Ltd.

Glendronach Distillery
Huntly, Aberdeenshire AB54 6DB
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1466 730202

Visitor centreYes

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun3.72 tonnes1 (cast iron, rake-and-plough)
Washback18,125 litres9 (Oregon Pine / Scottish pine)
Wash still9,000 litres2
Spirit Still6,000 litres2
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)1,300,000

Images courtesy of the GlenDronach distillery.