Aultmore distillery information

The Aultmore distillery was established in 1895 by Alexander Edward of Sanquhar, Forres. It is located just north of Keith on the road to Buckie in the heart of the Speyside whisky region. The site, also known as “Foggie Moss”, has an abundance of water springs, and contained lots of peat. The name Aultmore itself translates into “Big burn”, a name derived from a nearby stream; the Burn of Auchinderran. Edward had earlier inherited the Benrinnes distillery, and was a major stakeholder in the consortium that built the nearby Craigellachie distillery.

Production started in 1897, and the spirit produced proved so popular that a year later, capacity was doubled, and electricity was installed. Edward bought the Oban distillery in 1898, and Aultmore was transferred to Oban and Aultmore-Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd.  A year later, the Pattison crash hit, leading to the closure of a large amount of distilleries. Aultmore barely survived, initially closing down, then reopening in 1904, but with production drastically cut. The distillery struggled on, closing down again while World War 1 raged, and finally was put up for sale in 1923.

New owners

John Dewar & Sons Ltd. bought it for a price of 20,000 pounds. Dewar & Sons joined Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) in 1925, who licensed Aultmore to John & Robert Harvey & Co. In 1930, DCL transferred their distilleries to Scottish Malt Distillers (SMD). SMD started experimenting at both Autlmore and Imperial Distillery in the 1950s using the remainders of the barley used in the distillation process as well as pot ale (spirits left over after the distillation run) as cattle feed. This turned out to be a great success, and is at this time standard practice for whisky distilleries.

In 1967, the stills were converted to steam heating, and a year later, in 1968 the malting floor was closed. The original steam engine powering the distillery was replaced in 1969. Between 1970 and 1971 the distillery was rebuilt and expanded, with the amount of stills doubling from two to four. Shortly after, Aultmore was sold to United Distillers (who would later become Diageo). In 1998, the Federal Trade Commission ordered Diageo to sell Dewar’s, citing competition concerns. Bacardi ended up buying Dewar’s, and Aultmore is once again run by John Dewar’s & Sons Ltd. since then.

Aultmore whisky

Almost all whisky produced at Aultmore is used in blends, primarily Dewar’s White Label. Few official bottles exist, though Baracdi is planning on releasing some new expressions:

  • Flora and Fauna (Released in 1991)
  • 21 Year Old Rare Malts (released in 1996)
  • 12 Year Old
  • 21 Year Old (Travel retail only, planned)
  • 25 Year Old (planned)

Distillery info:

Water sourceBurn of Auchinderran
Owned byBacardi

John Dewar & Sons Ltd
Aultmore Distillery Cottages
Keith AB55 6QY
United Kingdom

Visitor centreNo

Distillery Setup:

Mash tun10 tonnes1 (Stainless Steel)
Washback46,500 litres6 (Larch)
Wash still15,500 litres2
Spirit Still15,500 litres2
Expected yearly output in LPA (Litres of pure alcohol)2,900,000